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Super League round 2: St Helens, Wigan and Castleford backed to win

Hugo Barnard | February 11, 2016

Salford v St Helens

  • Super League
  • Thursday, February 11th
  • Play starts: 20:00 GMT
  • AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
  • Live on Sky Sports 2

Saints too strong for Salford

St Helens will be looking to continue their fine start to the campaign with a win against the big spenders of the Super League, Salford.

The Saints managed to put an impressive performance in to beat Huddersfield Giants in the first round and, if they produce a similar performance here, should be looking at another routine victory.

They posted over 80 points past the Red Devils last season, with 52 of them coming at the AJ Bell Stadium, which is why St Helens are the strong odds-on favourites with Coral at 1/6.

Rugby League - Ladbrokes Challenge Cup - Quarter Final - St Helens v Widnes Vikings - Langtree Park

The task will be made all the more harder for Salford, who are without winger Junior Sa’u through injury. Head coach Ian Watson has called up Greg Johnson as his replacement in the 19-man squad, which is otherwise unchanged from their loss to Hull FC.

St Helens will be without the ever present and experienced hooker James Roby, though, who misses out due to a rib injury, and Dominique Peyroux will also not be available, with Morgan Knowles and Calvin Wellington picked instead of the duo.

There would be no surprises if the Saints come out as convincing winners, so a handicap victory of -22.0 could be a safe bet at 15/8. The prolific Adam Swift to score first could also be worth your while with odds at 7/1.

Huddersfield v Wigan

  • Super League
  • Friday, February 12th
  • Play starts: 20:00 GMT
  • John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Wigan to edge the Giants

Huddersfield Giants can’t get a much harder start to the 2016 Super League season than St Helens and Wigan Warriors for their first two games.

It seems after their lacklustre performance against the Saints in the first round that they have still not recovered from their heart-aching semi-final loss last campaign to the same opposition they face on Friday.

The loss of their full back Scott Grix for five months with a shoulder injury will no doubt make matters harder. To make things worse, the Giants will also be without their captain Danny Brough, who misses with a dead leg, and the vastly experienced Eorl Crabtree who suffered a groin problem.

Rugby League - First Utility Super League - St Helens v Huddersfield - Langtree Park

Wigan are still without the two Tomkins brothers, Sam and Joel, but should name an unchanged squad from their victory against Catalans Dragons.

Due to the amount of injuries the Giants have, expect a Wigan victory as their odds-on price of 2/9 suggests. However, it should be a very close encounter, with a winning margin of 1-5 points very possible at 6/1.

Last season’s top try scorer Jermaine McGillvary, meanwhile, is even-money to get on the act too by scoring anytime.

Castleford v Wakefield

  • Super League
  • Sunday, February 14th
  • Play starts: 15:30 GMT
  • Wheldon Road, Castleford

Castleford to take home the bragging rights

One of the most fierce rivalries in the Super League will kick off on Sunday, with Castleford and Wakefield looking to send their fans home happy with the local bragging rights.

Both teams dropped points in the first round of the competition and will be looking to make amends here where a victory for either side could really kick-start their campaigns.

Castleford go into this game with the knowledge that their captain supreme Michael Shenton will miss the rest of the Super League season after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in their draw against Hull KR.

Hull KR v Castleford Tigers - First Utility Super League - KC Lightstream Stadium

Despite this, don’t look too far past Castleford who, after putting over 100 points past their arch rivals overall from both fixtures last season, should continue in similar fashion with a comfortable win over The Wildcats with odds at 1/6. However, Wakefield have a point to prove and their odds are considerably more enticing at 4/1.

The Wildcats should be going into this match with an unchanged squad after their loss at home versus Widnes Vikings in the last round, and their young talented winger Tom Johnstone will be looking to speed home.

Castleford should win this one fairly easily, however, and handicap victory of -14.0 for them is priced at 10/11.

Round 2 fixture list

Thursday
Salford v St Helens

Friday
Huddersfield v Wigan

Saturday
Catalans v Hull

Sunday
Warrington v Hull KR
Widnes v Leeds
Castleford v Wakefield

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Coral’s top tip: Back Wigan to beat Huddersfield by 1-5 points at 6/1.

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