Home comforts for Bulls
Our columnist Ian Millward previews the weekend's action in the First Utility Super League and NRL.
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(+16) London Broncos v Hull (1500BST)
I was talking to a Super League coach this week who said could Hull be the first team to lose to London? The visitors are pretty workmanlike and their halves can be pressured into errors while the Broncos are improving. Last week, the score against Hull KR was no reflection on how they played while the previous week they should have got at least a draw against Catalan. I think this is a game London will be competitive in with a start as they are at home and their form is getting better every week.
Bradford v Wakefield (+4) (1500BST)
This is interesting as it should really be a non-event with Bradford at home and getting some players back, including in the forwards, which will give them some size. They should technically beat a Wildcats side that is missing eight or nine regulars but this is the same Wakefield that beat Hull away at the start of May. If they win this game, they will probably survive and not be relegated. But I am going for the hosts with their record over Wakefield - two poor teams but that home advantage is massive.
Castleford v Hull KR (+8) (1530BST)
Cas have beaten Hull KR the last five times they have met and the issue for the Tigers is can they cope with a massive Challenge Cup quarter-final coming up against Wigan as it does affect you mentally. I am going for Hull KR as they are in fantastic form and their last couple of performances have been really good. They have had two wins and a draw recently so take them for the upset win - that means they will obviously be good enough with the start.
North Queensland v Melbourne (+16) (1035BST)
This will take place in warm, humid conditions and State Of Origin this week has knocked Melbourne's three biggest players out - Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith. The Cowboys will have Johnathan Thurston back though from Origin and he has been in superb form so I expect them to win and cover.
New Zealand v Newcastle (+8) (0505BST)
The Warriors have been in good form while the Knights are very inconsistent and lack the ability at the moment to muscle-up defensively for long periods. The Warriors have won three of their last four while the Knights have lost four in a row and five out of six. New Zealand at home are a very good attacking team so I expect them to cover.