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Wakefield Wildcats vs Hull FC

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Hull FC take on Wakefield Wildcats as they attempt to address a two-game losing slump which has seen them drop to second in the table.

Since their Challenge Cup final heroics, the Black and Whites have failed to register a win in the league coming short against both St Helens and Wigan Warriors.

Such a dip in form, has seen Warrington Wolves capitalise on their failures and gain top spot, putting Lee Radford’s hopes of the treble in serious doubt.

Last time out, Hull recalled a number of their stars and it looked to have paid dividends when they held a 12-4 lead at half-time, through Fetuli Talanoa and Mahe Fonua. But a frustrating second forty minutes saw Wigan claw their way back, which culminated in two late tries from Sam Powell and Taulima Tautai.

However, the Airlie Birds could have hardly picked a better opponent in the Wakefield Wildcats, a side bereft of confidence having failed to register a single win in the Super 8s.

Catalans Dragons were the latest to conquer Chris Chester’s men in a narrow 14-10 contest at Belle Vue – which ended their own three-game losing streak.

The men from East Yorkshire have had the upper hand over the Wildcats this season, winning 46-28 away from home and 22-4 at the KCOM Stadium.

Should Hull win against the Wildcats it would put them just one point behind the league leaders, putting the pressure back on them when they face Wigan Warriors on Friday night.

Team News

Wakefield make just the solitary change to their 19-man squad with James Batchelor replacing half-back Jacob Miller.

Lee Radford has lost both Mark Minichiello and Frank Pritchard to minor injuries, but both should be back for their match against Warrington Wolves next week. The duo are replacing by Curtis Naughton and Iafeta Palea’aesina in the squad.

Wakefield Wildcats: Scott Anderson, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, James Batchelor, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Craig Hall, Ben Harrison, Tom Johnstone, Max Jowitt, Reece Lyne, Jonny Molloy, Nick Scruton, Mickael Simon, Michael Sio, Anthony Tupou, Bill Tupou, Andy Yates

Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Fetuli Talanoa, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Gareth Ellis, Iafeta Palea’aesina, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Dean Hadley, Steve Michaels, Curtis Naughton, Sika Manu, Josh Bowden, Kirk Yeaman, Danny Washbrook

Prediction: Hull FC by 14

Published on September 16 2016 for Rugby AM.

Catalan Dragons vs Castleford Tigers

Tony_Gigot

Catalans Dragons entertain Castleford Tigers for the final time this campaign at the Stade Gilbert Brutus hoping to end their season on a high.

The Dragons addressed a three-game losing run last weekend when they beat Wakefield Wildcats 14-10 at Belle Vue. Jason Baitieri and Julian Bousquet scored tries with Tony Gigot adding both conversions and a penalty in the second-half.

The Dragons do perform well on home soil having won eight out of 13 and will be hoping they can extend that record when the Tigers make the trip to the south of France.

Cas have performed well in the Super 8s having beaten both Hull FC and Warrington Wolves, however the gap between them and the top four has been too great. Last round they succumbed to a 40-16.

Both teams won their respective home fixtures, with the 38-24 win at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle securing the Tigers’ place in the Super 8s.

Team News

Catalans head coach Laurent Frayssinous has made two changes to his 19-man squad. Both Jason Baitieri and Fouad Yaha have seen their seasons cut short through respective injuries.

Coming into the French side are Lucas Albert and Dave Taylor with the latter back from suspension. Glenn Stewart is named in what will be his final home match for the Dragons, after the club announced he is to be released for family reasons.

Daryl Powell Andre Savelio back in contention after ineligibility kept him out last weekend, Mike McMeeken is also in line to feature.

Rangi Chase, who was handed a one-match suspension is out as is Junior Moors who has been ruled out for the season.

Catalans Dragons: Tony Gigot, Jodie Broughton, Vincent Duport, Richie Myler, Louis Anderson, Paul Aiton, Remi Casty, Glenn Stewart, Justin Horo, Dave Taylor, Julian Bousquet, Eloi Pelissier, Greg Mounis, Olivier Elima, Jordan Sigismeau, Lucas Albert, Alrix Da Costa, Ben Garcia, Paul Seguier

Castleford Tigers: Matt Cook, Ben Crooks, Brandon Douglas, Luke Dorn, Conor Fitzsimmons, Paddy Flynn, Luke Gale, Ryan Hampshire, Oliver Holmes, Will Maher, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Larne Patrick, Andre Savelio, Denny Solomona, Gadwin Springer, Jake Webster

Prediction: Catalans Dragons by 10

Published on September 16 2016 for Rugby AM.

Widnes Vikings vs St HelensKevin_Brown

Keiron Cunningham has warned his side against complacency when they come up against Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.

The Saints head coach said in the build-up to the clash that: “Widnes are in the same situation as Castleford – they are playing carefree.

“They did a great job at Wigan and had a good game against Warrington. It is always a tough game on their ground and it will be physical.”

The in-form Saints have lost once in their last ten fixtures and they will have targeted a victory here to maintain their momentum heading into the semi-finals. They shrugged off an injury-depleted Castleford Tigers unit running out 40-16 winners on home soil.

Widnes have had a mixed bag of results in the Super 8s, wins over Wigan Warriors have been offset by poor losses to Catalans Dragons.

Warrington earned the spoils in round five against the Vikings, winning 30-12 as Wire had no real trouble after establishing a 20-0 lead at the interval.

Team News

Denis Betts makes just the one change to his 19-man side with Tom Gilmore replaced by forward Manase Manuokafoa who has missed the last few games.

St Helens also make the solitary change with Shannon McDonnell returning to the fold in favour of Jack Ashworth.

Widnes Vikings: Patrick Ah Van, Kevin Brown, Greg Burke, Jack Buchanan, Hep Cahill, Jay Chapelhow, Chris Dean, Gil Dudson, Conner Farrell, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Macgraff Leuluai, Manase Manuokafoa, Joe Mellor, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Lloyd White, Matt Whitley

St Helens: Jonny Lomax, Jordan Turner, Adam Swift, Luke Walsh, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Atelea Vea, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Greg Richards, Luke Thompson, Dominique Peyroux, Theo Fages, Joe Greenwood, Jack Owens, Shannon McDonnell, Matty Fleming, Morgan Knowles

Prediction: St Helens by 8

Published on September 16 2016 for Rugby AM.

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