Take Giants to finally deliver

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: September 10 2012, 8:47 BST

Our columnist Ian Millward previews this weekend's remaining action and both Super League and NRL Grand Finals.

Eorl Crabtree's Huddersfield can bounce back

3pt double Huddersfield (+12) and Catalans (-16) at 2.65/1 (General).

3pt double Manly and Warrington to win their Grand Finals at 7.92/1 (Ladbrokes, sportingbet).

Handicaps courtesy of Sky Bet



Wigan v St Helens (+10)

There's not much between the two teams and they are both playing for pride in their local derby as they both know where they finish. Michael Shenton is back as is Stuart Fielden, while it's only Thomas Leuluai's second game back so there are a few guys in Wigan shirts having warm-ups before the play-offs. I'm not sure where this lies in terms of priority for both teams, but with it being a derby game it will be pretty high. With that in mind, 10 points is a big start for St Helens and I'll take them to cover.


Catalans v Bradford (+16)

The Bulls have been tough and tenacious and last week was out of character. Catalans played well against Castleford although they did score tries from interceptions. Bradford could hit back here as they need to put pressure on Wakefield and they will bond as a group on the trip to France but Catalans want a home fixture in the play-offs. For that reason I'll take the Dragons to win and cover.

Salford (+4) v Wakefield

Salford have been ordinary of late and they have been suffering with injuries. But they have been better at home and with it being the last game of the season I expect them to put in a big performance. It's tough to know what to expect from Wakefield as if they don't have to win they will drop their intensity and it will play into Salford's hands. Bearing that in mind, this isn't a game to get involved with.


Huddersfield (+12) v Leeds

Huddersfield have been poor, going from bad to worse. They were terrible last week. However, I just think Leeds might struggle with it being their second game after the Challenge Cup Final and that could let the Giants in. I don't expect Huddersfield to win, but just a modicum of improvement will see them give Leeds a game. Take the Giants with the start.

Widnes (+16) v Warrington

Widnes have been pretty good at home and have been consistent the last few weeks. Warrington will rest players, but the people they bring in have plenty of quality. I don't think this will be a cricket score given the Wolves will rotate, but I do think they will have enough quality on the pitch to cover.


Bulldogs (+2) v Manly

The first-placed team host the fourth in the standings here and it's 1-1 from the regular season. They are the two best teams in the NRL, but Manly are the defending champions, they have plenty of experience and I recommend people take the Sea Eagles to win and cover.

Cowboys v Broncos (+6)

North Queensland (fifth) take on Brisbane (eighth) and this is a local derby. Brisbane won their first game in seven last week and that will have given them confidence. They have a good record against the Cowboys in Townsville and for that reason they look a decent handicap bet with the start.

Grand Final outrights

Manly are the defending champions and they have no injury worries going into the play-offs. The way they play is very appealing for semi-final football. They are ruthless defensively and they have fantastic strike players. They also have two great half-backs and those are all ingredients to win you a Grand Final.

Warrington also have no injuries, I didn't think the Challenge Cup Final took anything out of them and they also have great players in key positions: Brett Hodgson at full-back, Lee Briers and Joel Monaghan. They are top quality strike players and one of the teams from the top two usually do the business. I fancy it to be Warrington's year.

  • Preview posted at 0820 BST on 07/09/2012.>