Crystal Ball: Week 4

WebSo, will I continue to make the same mistakes of placing faith in underperfroming teams, or have I learned the error of my ways? Let’s find out:

Hull FC beat Catalan Dragons by 14

I think FC are definitely over the woes of last season, and are lodged firmly somewhere in the second tier of sides chasing down Leeds and Saints. I suspect Catalan are in that group as well and their victory at Warrington showed that they look like they’ll be able to travel this year, but Hull look much more equipped to deal with injuries this year and I expect they want to prove that they’re ready to be an elite side again.

Bradford Bulls beat Huddersfield Giants by 12

Odsal is not traditionally a happy hunting ground for the Giants, which is pretty much the deciding factor in picking against them. They looked competent in defeat against Saints, whereas Bradford have had a extra week off after their disappointing draw with Hull KR (and this is the stage of the season whee weeks off aren’t a good thing). Even so, I think Bradford will be raring to get their season on the right track.

St Helens beat Hull KR by 20

Saints have been pretty impressive so far this season, winning both their games by comfortable margins. KR have been impressive in their own way, scraping a draw at Odsal and pushing the Rhinos all the way in their last game. I expect the toll of those two games to make itself known as they go to Knowsley Rd where they haven’t done two well in their Super League spell (a 28 and 42 point defeat in the last two seasons). Also look for a kicker to finally emerge for Saints.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats beat Warrington Wolves by 6

Wakefield have already won two games this season and looked pretty good in doing so, and they weren’t terrible in defeat against Leeds either. Warrington have combined looking really good with really bad in the same game with poor results this season. Of course, those two games were against two of the top three sides last year, but they really need to improve their second half performances if they expect to beat a solid Trinity side.

Castleford Tigers beat Salford City Reds by 18

Cas have definitely moved forward this season, and a side brimming with young English talent has learned from the trials and tribulations of last year to become a danger. Salford started well against Celtic Crusaders first up, but since that first half they’ve been a bit meh and that is unlikely to cut it against the Tigers.

Wigan Warriors beat Harlequins by 8

Why, oh why, am I picking this? Wigan have fallen to defeat against sides they supposedly shouldn’t so far this season, including one (Castleford) whom Harlequins have already beaten. Quins for their part have looked an impressively tight unit in both the Castleford game and the Manly friendly and Luke Dorn has been on fire. So why pick Wigan? Quite simply because having followed Quins / Broncos for a few years now, when it all looks like it’s going well is the exact time it starts going wrong. It’ll be a close’un though.

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