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Hull Kingston Rovers vs Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

Mantellato

Wakefield Wildcats travel to the KC Lightstream Stadium today to take on Hull Kingston Rovers with both clubs knowing this is a must-win game.

Both sides failed to make the top eight and had to secure their Super League status via taking on the Middle 8s. Hull KR won the right to play in the top-flight by winning all seven of their fixtures whilst Wakefield had to endure the Million Pound Game against Bradford Bulls which they prevailed with a 24-16 victory.

Despite the Robins coach playing down the must-win tag both teams will know if they are to avoid the Middle 8s for a successive season this is the type of game they should be picking up maximum points from.

Coming into this clash neither side is really in form, the Red and Whites lost 38-8 away at Warrington whilst Wakefield recorded a second defeat of the campaign being humiliated 40-6 against Castleford Tigers.

The Robins saw their injury crises worsen with the news that James Donaldson will be out of action for three months with a dislocated wrist suffered in the defeat against Warrington. The back rower has dropped out of the 19-man ranks with Ryan Shaw in line to make his debut.

Wakefield head coach Brian Smith has made two changes seeing Chris Annakin and Tom Johnstone named replacing Ashley Gibson and Danny Kirmond.

The Wildcats beat the Robins in round two of last season 44-24 before going on a 16 game losing run which ended with the 26-16 victory over Hull FC. The Robins thrashed Wakefield 54-6 on home soil, a ten try rout which saw Josh Mantellato and Kieran Dixon both score braces.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Mitch Allgood, Maurice Blair, Chris Clarkson, Ben Cockayne, Kieran Dixon, James Green, James Greenwood, Stephen Holker, Graeme Horne, Albert Kelly, George Lawler, Thomas Minns, Robbie Mulhern, Liam Salter, Ryan Shaw, Ken Sio, Iain Thornley, Dane Tilse, Adam Walker

Wakefield Wildcats: Scott Anderson, Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Anthony England, Liam Finn, Stuart Howarth, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Jonny Molloy, Nick Scruton, Mickael Simon, Mickey Sio, Anthony Tupou, Bill Tupou, Jason Walton

Prediction: Hull Kingston Rovers by 18

Published on February 21 2016 for Rugby AM.

Salford Red Devils vs Widnes Vikings

Betts

Table-topping Widnes Vikings travel to the AJ Bell Stadium today to take on a Salford Red Devils with both teams high on confidence.

Nobody expected Widnes to be in their lofty position after two rounds let alone envisaged their 56-12 win over the champions Leeds Rhinos last weekend. Despite Leeds having their injury worries, credit must be paid to the Vikings who ran in ten tries including a hat-trick from new signing Corey Thompson in an impressive performance.

Hosting the leaders, Salford Red Devils won’t fear the Vikings having beaten St Helens 44-10 the previous weekend. As poor defensively as the Saints were Salford going forward looked dangerous right across the park as they ran in seven tries.

Salford claimed the spoils in the home game last season winning 36-8 but the Vikings gained revenge in the last round of Super League edging a 21-20 win.

Ian Watson has named an unchanged team from the one that beat St Helens with centre Josh Griffin set to make his 100th career appearance having played for the likes of Batley, Castleford, Wakefield and Huddersfield.

Widnes have made just the one change to their 19-man squad with forward Chris Dean missing out being replaced by Tom Gilmore.

Salford Red Devils: Justin Carney, Michael Dobson, Niall Evalds, Mark Flanagan, George Griffin, Josh Griffin, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Phil Joseph, Craig Kopczak, Olsi Krasniqi, Ryan Lannon, Tommy Lee, Robert Lui, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Gareth O’Brien, Matt Sarsfield, Logan Tomkins, Adam Walne

Widnes Vikings: Chris Bridge, Kevin Brown, Hep Cahill, Gil Dudson, Connor Farrell, Tom Gilmore, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Macgraff Leuluai, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O’Carroll, Charly Runciman, Setaimata Sa, Corey Thompson, Lloyd White, Matt Whitley

Prediction: Salford Red Devils by 8

Published on February 21 2016 for Rugby AM.

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