Roses derby in Super League Super 8s as Wigan travel to rampant Rhinos
Wigan Warriors may be 2-1 up on Super League leaders and Roses rivals Leeds in head-to-heads this season, but those victories during the regular campaign came at home and on neutral ground during the Magic Weekend.
The Rhinos are thus odds-on 4/9 favourites with Coral to follow up their handsome Headlingley victory over Warrington with another Roses derby win in their second Super 8s outing.
Shaun Wane’s side are 7/4 to beat Leeds away, having edged past another Yorkshire side in Huddersfield Giants last time out. Although Warriors have scored an impressive 112 tries, the rampant Rhinos put them in the shade by crossing over 30 times more.
Worryingly for Wigan, there are several Leeds stars that have gone over more than once against them this term. Adam Cuthbertson (11/4 anytime) and Rob Burrow (9/4 in that market) are among those, and both represent decent value. Kallum Watkins is the Rhinos most prolific try-scorer with 14, though, and 10/1 to cross first.
Aiming to stop a Rhinos stampede is Warriors hooker Michael McIlorum, who signed a contract extension to keep him in Cherry and White until 2019. Coach Wane was obviously delighted by the player committing his future to Wigan.
“He is consistently one of our best performers week in, week out and the fans love him here,” Wane said of McIlorum. “The mark of a player is what his fellow professionals say about him and Micky is held in the highest regard.”
Anytime odds of 5/1 to celebrate his new deal with a try are somewhat fanciful, but there are other Wigan outlets that could cause Leeds major problems. Three of Matty Bowen’s five tries this season have come against this opposition, so a 13/8 price to cross is sublime on a player who has a 60 per cent scoring rate when paired with the Rhinos in 2015.
Coral’s top tip: Punters should expect a relatively close contest between these rivals, but Leeds’ strong home form means a narrow winning margin of 1-10 points is an awesome 11/5 chance.