Ian Millward's weekend Super League & NRL preview

Rugby League
Scott Grix of Wakefield
Scott Grix of Wakefield

Former Super League coach Ian Millward previews the latest round of matches, as well as picking his best NRL bets.

Recommended bets:


2pts Wakefield (+10) and Warrington (+2) at 2.64/1

2pts Sydney Roosters (-2.5) at evens

Leeds v Leigh (+18) - Friday, 2000 BST


Leeds are in way better form than Leigh, they've won three of their last four and when these sides have met it's Leeds who've dominated, winning four in a row as you might expect.

They've already met this year - a 17-14 win away for Leeds - and Leigh are in poor form with one win in eight. What's more Ben Crooks is out and that's a massive blow.

Leigh aren't used to the demands of Super League and two games in four days last week could expose them in what's a really difficult game.

Plus, the drying ground suits the Rhinos with their superior pace and size so I can only see this going one way - Leeds should win and cover.

Hull v Wigan (+2) - Saturday, 1700 BST, live on Sky Sports


Hull have been quite poor recently, albeit on the back of some key injuries. Marc Sneyd is obviously carrying a major injury and is their key playmaker, while Josh Griffin is another they'll miss.

Hull have won three of their last five against Wigan, but Joel Tomkins is back in the Warriors' side and so is Joe Burgess, both of whom could be pivotal here.

Wigan lost to Wakefield on Monday and in a strange way that improves their chances here, as they always find a way to hit back after a blow like that one.

They've been very solid defensively in the main and Hull's defeats, most notably to Leigh, have been worrying lately.

All in all not an easy game to call but Wigan's consistency earns them the vote.

Huddersfield v Warrington (+2) - Sunday, 1500 BST


Huddersfield have been rejuvenated by a couple of players returning from injury, the loan signing of Martin Ridyard and new signing Jordan Turner.

Warrington won 26-24 last time these met but have Daryl Clark out - and he's absolutely key to their attack. They've won just one of their last five and conceded 78 points in their last two.

But just when you think they're in trouble they pull one out of the fire and on paper they look a better team than the Giants.

Huddersfield only played once last weekend and will be fresh, but Wolves are dangerous with their backs to the wall and a victory for the away side wouldn't surprise me.

Castleford v St Helens (+4) - Sunday, 1500 BST


St Helens had just the one game last weekend which is a massive advantage going into this.

They've won two in succession since Justin Holbrook arrived and in previous years have owned Castleford.

Cas won 53-10 earlier this season but Saints are in a much better place now, with a totally different mindset, and the start should make them competitive.

The Tigers are going for nine wins in a row but St Helens, rejuvenated and refreshed, can make this a close contest.

Salford v Wakefield (+10) - Sunday, 1500 BST


A game of second v fourth and I can't believe I'm saying that - these two usually struggle to maintain their Super League status.

It's a great achievement by the players and coaches of both sides.

Salford have the third best defence in Super League which isn't usually their strength, but Wakefield found a way through in the reverse and won 24-22.

The way Wakefield surged back into the game to beat Wigan last time was unbelievable and it's time to jump on the bandwagon and side with them here.

The Wildcats are in as good a place as they've been for some time and can cover, despite one or two injuries which might see Salford just edge the game.

Widnes v Catalans (+2) - Sunday, 1500 BST


Both these sides won last time which is rare as they've struggled this season.

It was a draw when they last met and that, along with the handicap spread, tells you there's very little between them.

Catalans have been decimated by injuries while Widnes can't defend for long periods so the only thing to hang our hats on is Widnes' home advantage, which could sway it.

NRL


Sydney v Brisbane - Saturday, 0830 BST


The Roosters have home advantage home against a Broncos side where rumours are some players will be rested.

Brisbane had five feature in the State of Origin on Wednesday and struggled last week without these key players.

Roosters are in great form and their Origin players will be in good spirits having been part of the New South Wales side which won really well on Wednesday.

Bulldogs v Panthers - Sunday, 0700 BST


Nothing between these two on paper but Penrith have more attacking flair and that could be the difference.

Matt Moylan will move from full-back to the halves and it could be a really smart, game-changing move.

The last two Penrith performances have been way improved and they could be about to hit form.

Posted at 1130 BST on 02/06/17.

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