Super League Super 8s Round 7 Preview
St Helens vs Warrington Wolves
St Helens will be looking to pile the pressure on the remaining top four clubs when they take on Warrington Wolves in the final game of the Super 8s.
Saints opened their Super 8s campaign in the worst possible fashion losing the first three games against Catalans Dragons, Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants. However since the turn of September the side have now recorded three back-to-back victories putting them right in the hunt for top spot.
A win over Warrington would send St Helens to the summit but come up against a Warrington side with nothing to play for but pride and got back to winning ways with a 48-6 thrashing of Catalans.
Matty Dawson comes in for the injured Travis Burns, with Jordan Turner likely to continue in the halves and there is no place for recently nominated Man Of Steel Alex Walmsley with a leg complaint.
Warrington Wolves will give a final game for a contingent of departing players the likes of Joel Monaghan, Richie Myler, Roy Asotasi and Gareth O’Brien.
Sam Wilde comes in for Gary Wheeler as Tony Smith makes one change to his final team of the campaign.
St Helens by 14
Huddersfield Giants vs Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos will lift the league leader’s shield if they overcome in-form Huddersfield Giants on Friday night at The John Smith’s Stadium.
Two points for the Rhinos will likely see them lift the shield even if Wigan managed to overcome Castleford Tigers due to their superior points difference.
The final round of the Super 8s is set up to have a fascinating ending with Leeds failing to record a victory after their Challenge Cup triumph over Hull Kingston Rovers towards the end of August.
Huddersfield meanwhile hold no fears going into this game and are arguably the form team of the competition at present having won their last five fixtures.
The Giants could also win the silverware on offer but would need Wigan to lose to Castleford in the other Friday night fixture.
Huddersfield Head Coach Paul Anderson has made two changes to his 19-man squad with Brett Ferres back following a bicep injury along with veteran forward Eorl Crabtree. Losing their places are Jake Connor and Nathan Mason from last week’s 34-20 win over Hull FC.
Robbie Ward and Jimmy Keinhorst come into the Leeds squad which has two changes seeing Ashton Golding and Brett Delaney drop out.
Huddersfield by 8
Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers
Wigan Warriors face Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium with the home side needing to overcome Castleford Tigers to give them a chance of lifting the league leader’s shield.
The Warriors have clawed back the lead Leeds established in bygone rounds and now stand a real chance of finishing the Super 8s on top.
Wigan head into this clash on the back of a 18-14 defeat in the derby against St Helens and Shaun Wane’s men will be fired up for this match.
Cas had their top four hopes dashed in the 42-38 loss to St Helens two rounds ago but showed they still have pride in their shirt when they beat Leeds Rhinos 29-22 at Headingley last weekend.
Wigan welcome back Liam Farrell after missing the last three games along with Dom Manfredi in two changes to their side with Ryan Hampshire and Anthony Gelling missing out.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell has made two changes for this clash with Michael Shenton and Ryan Boyle missing out through injury with Ash Robson and Gadwin Springer returning to the 19-man squad.
Wigan Warriors by 10
Hull FC vs Catalans Dragons
Hull FC will have to beat Catalans Dragons by a heavy margin if they are to avoid finishing bottom of the Super 8s table.
Given the two sides face off against each other the Black and Whites will have to win by a 29-point margin in order to finish above their French opponents.
That is by no means beyond Hull FC and given the fact Catalans have only won once away from home is a real possibility. Given the fact Warrington put 48 points past the Dragons last round the Airlie Birds will be out to record a resounding victory.
Both teams recorded a win and a loss in the regular season but both games were won by small margins.
Lee Radford will give a final send off to a number of players leaving for pastures new the likes of Mickey Paea, Jordan Rankin and Tom Lineham.
Catalans will be looking for their second away win of the season and may have Todd Carney back available after he pulled out in the warm-up last time.
Hull FC by 14
Published on September 24 2015 for Rugby AM.