Round 4 predictions
Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers
Castleford have scored 60 of their 91 points in the first half of matches during the opening three rounds. In contrast, the Warriors have started slow in their first two Super League fixtures, before addressing the issue against the Rhinos last week - scoring two first half tries.
Both sides will be confident - neither have been beaten in the opening rounds and head into Thursday's fixture off the back of solid performances in round three.
The introduction of Bevan French for Wigan should prove interesting - it will be difficult to move Hardaker from full back so integrating French into the side could be a challenge. I expect this one to go down to the wire, but I think Cas could well come away with the two points.
Prediction: Tigers by 2
Huddersfield Giants v St Helens
Ian Watson will be hoping for a strong start from his side after their close loss to Hull KR last week. The Giants have been unable to close out matches in 2021, having lost their opening three games by 12 points or less.
Saints on the other hand have made the perfect start to 2021 and their defence has been a real standout. They have conceded just two tries in the first three rounds in Super League and have strangled their opponents of metres going forward.
The Giants will need to produce probably their best performance over recent years against a side who are yet to be tested for the full 80 minutes in Super League. I think Kristian Woolf's men will add to Huddersfield's woes on Thursday.
Prediction: Saints by 8
Salford Red Devils v Leigh Centurions
Is it too early to call this game a four pointer? Both sides have struggled in the opening rounds and head into round four off the back of heavy defeats. Salford are without two of their more experienced players in Kallum Watkins and Elijah Taylor, whilst Leigh will buoyed by the possible debut of Anthony Gelling.
This game could well be won in the halves - whoever can finish their sets well and control the territorial battle will stand a good chance of winning. For that reason, I think the class of Brown and Lolohea will help Salford earn their first two points of the year.
Prediction: Red Devils by 4
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Hull Kingston Rovers v Leeds Rhinos
The potential return from injury of five players - including two who have yet to feature in 2021 - will be a massive boost for the Rhinos. Richard Agar's side have been doing it tough in recent weeks - but I'm sure he will be pleased with the effort his relatively young side have shown.
It hasn't been plain sailing for Hull KR either - injuries and two golden point losses in league and cup in the past four weeks has been tough. Their win against Huddersfield in round three was just reward for their effort and improvement since the opening round.
If the Rhinos are able to field their 5 returning stars - particularly Hurrell & Handley in the back line and Myler, who will likely slot in at half back - they may have enough to get passed the Robins.
Prediction: Rhinos by 6
Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity
Trinity are another side doing it tough with injuries to key players this week - Tom Johnstone & Jacob Miller are two of their best attacking threats and will be sorely missed in round four.
The black and whites contested the first golden point draw since its inception two years ago. With just a five day turnaround it will be a tough ask for their players on Friday.
Apart from some Tom Johnstone magic in round one, Trinity have struggled to register points. Hull FC's defence has been much improved so far in 2021, so for that reason I can only envisage a win for the team from West Hull.
Prediction: Hull FC by 12
Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves
The Dragons have been red hot in 2021 - they are three from three in Super League and have scored the most points - along with Castleford - so far this season.
The Wolves showed some great resolve against a much fancied Hull FC side last Sunday - a Jake Mamo try on the full time hooter taking them to golden point in a game they could have won.
The trip to France is never an easy one - made harder in some ways playing behind closed doors without vocal away support. A tough one to call, but the Dragons to take it.
Prediction: Dragons by 6