Bulls to take derby spoils
Our columnist and Castleford coach Ian Millward previews this weekend's remaining action in Super League and the NRL.
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My Castleford side host London this weekend and unfortunately we have Weller Hauraki and Justin Carney out through suspension and they have been two really good performers this season.
We are very hopeful that Lee Gilmour and Jake Webster will be back from injury and our home form has been strong.
If we can reproduce that, then that should give us the opportunity to have a good day.
The Bulls have a pretty convincing record at Odsal against Hull KR and they will be smarting from the draw last week having led by 22 points. They will look to bounce back here and have a very solid team. Hull KR have two wins on the trot which is good form but they are not quite as effective away from home so I am going for Bradford to win and cover.
North Queensland were very impressive last week against the Bulldogs and now have their first game of the season at home. They have the best half-back in the world in Johnathan Thurston, who has just re-signed a new four-year contract to give them stability. Melbourne beat Leeds and were then excellent last week so this is an early top-of-the-table clash. It was very hot last week in Melbourne but gets even hotter in Queensland and for that reason, I think the home team will come out victorious.
Both teams were impressive last week and Newcastle have recruited some big forwards. Manly played well against Brisbane but the Broncos did drop away considerably in the second half and I am not sure whether they would have won the game if the Broncos had not faded so quickly. They have also had some drug investigations into the team during the week and that will not have helped preparations so I am going for the Knights to claim back-to-back wins.
South Sydney were the most impressive team in round one of the NRL but they do miss Sam Burgess, who is out suspended. The way they played with their powerful forwards backed up by some outstanding running at the back by Greg Inglis spells big danger for Cronulla. They had a hard-fought low-scoring game with the Titans and there was a lot of emotion in the game which will have taken plenty out of them. South Sydney will win and cover the start.