Year to Date Profit/Loss = -3pts
St Helens (-8)
Bradford Bulls (-14)
Castleford Tigers (-2)
Treble = 7/1
I am confident this treble will get us off the mark in 2011. First up this weekend is a wounded St Helens away at the Catalan Dragons. More than a few points to prove I think for Saints this weekend. None more so than Kyle Eastmond who finally announced his departure at the end of Super League XVI to Rugby Union, to join Bath.
Many people will be left wondering whether Kyle will be giving his all to the Saints cause for the rest of 2011. The squad have sat down this week, wished Kyle well and he’s assured everyone he will be giving everything in his power to get the Saints club back to Wembley and Old Trafford in 2011.
Catalans of course pulled off arguably the shock of the season last week with their away win at Hull Kingston Rovers. Whilst not taking anything away from the Dragons I think they met a severely weakened Rovers side who had lost their talisman Michael Dobson.
Expect a competitive game as always in the South of France but I expect Saints to have too much class and guile to over come the 8-point handicap.
Second choice is in the Yorkshire derby between Bradford and Wakefield. Bradford achieved a great win in Wales against Crusaders RL last week and they are beginning to show signs of their new look squad gelling. Wakefield despite their heroic efforts in France two weeks ago, were extremely disappointing in last weeks home defeat to Salford City Reds.
Coach John Kear will expect his team to be more fired up this week for the visit of the Bulls but does the Wakefield coach have enough quantity and more importantly quality to stop a rampaging Bradford side? An easy victory for the Bulls in this one!
Finally, I end the treble in the fiercely competitive fixture of Castleford v Hull KR. Cas have had an enforced two week break due to Wigan’s involvement in the World Club Championship and Terry Matterson will be looking for a repeat of the Tigers home performance against Huddersfield Giants two weeks ago.
Just how Cas’s opponents Hull Kingston Rovers will handle the loss of key man Michael Dobson will determine their season. If last weeks result against Catalan is anything to go by, Hull KR could miss Dobson badly.
Cas always have good team spirit and it’s that team spirit which will get them home this weekend.
Enjoy your rugby league wherever you are this weekend!