Widnes to blast to top of the table

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: February 16 2014, 16:21 GMT

Former Super League coach Ian Millward previews this week's remaining action and is tipping Widnes to run riot on Sunday.

Kevin Brown: Can help Widnes to a convincing victory
Kevin Brown: Can help Widnes to a convincing victory

Sunday

Bradford v Castleford (+2)

I think Castleford are in good pre-season form. They've had a good build-up, they have greater depth than in previous years and more front-rowers which will give them the ability to make metres and give the likes of Daryl Clark more space.

Life without Rangi Chase is the big test but they did beat Bradford convincingly in a trial game. The Bulls could be fighting for their lives this year, especially if more players leave, and with behind-the-scenes uncertainty they're not in great shape to start the season.

Castleford can win this one.

Hull KR (+8) v Leeds

Leeds probably have the best set of outside backs in Super League, but with the weather as it is they might be better staying on the bus.

The KR players looked a bit off the pace in a prep game against Huddersfield and some looked in need of game time. They should be hard to beat at home this season but Leeds could be vying for the big prizes this year and should ultimately come out on top.

However, with the weather as it is the start looks big so I'll go with Hull KR on the handicap; albeit in better conditions Leeds would be the call.

Salford v Wakefield (+14)

This is very early in the season to call it make or break, but it feels like that for Salford. They need confidence and cohesion and wins to create that.

Wakefield's half-back has only just arrived and they may progress in time from a slow start. In contrast, Salford will have their full-strength team out and have a class advantage.

In addition, the field at Salford is a good one for wet weather and despite the pressure which comes with expectation, Salford are ready to get off to a winning start and cover the handicap.

Widnes v London Broncos (+20)

We're on an all-weather pitch here and London are still putting their squad together - this could be one-way traffic.

Widnes will score plenty of points and I expect them to win comfortably. Led by Kevin Brown, they should fly out of the blocks and cover even this big handicap.

I expect Widnes to end the weekend at the top of the standings.

NRL

It's a sell out at Eden Park for each of the two days of the NRL Auckland Nines. The winner gets a million dollars in this new concept and it should be a lot of fun.

Sam Tomkins will make his debut for New Zealand Warriors; they have an athletic team who will enjoy the open spaces this format brings. They'll have a strong crowd roaring them on and are a good bet to go all the way.

Watch out for Pat Richards' team, West Tigers. They have lots of youth and speed and could go well. Also watch out for Newcastle Knights, who are mobile in the forward line. These two can prove the dangers but NZ are taken to win.


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