With the final round of the Super 8s being played this weekend, the excitement continues to build.
With St Helens having all but secured a place in the semi-finals following a 4-30 victory over Salford Red Devils last night, the final place for a spot in the semis is hotting up.
Hull FC on the verge of making the semis
The Friday night game is to going to be very exciting to say the least. Castleford have rested a lot of key players on the back of last week’s win at Wigan Warriors including Zak Hardaker, Grant Millington and Michael Shenton while Luke Gale is still injured. Hull FC are on 33 points and a win against league leaders Castleford Tigers would seal a place in the semi-final. And the game doesn’t mean a lot to Castleford, with the league leaders having already secured a home semi-final so it is Hull’s to lose.
Can Wigan defy the odds?
Wigan will definitely not make the top four if Hull manage to beat Castleford. However, if the Tigers beat FC then Wigan have got a chance of getting a semi-final place. Shaun Wane’s Warriors side finished the regular campaign in seventh but have picked up a good run of form in the Super 8s. The World Club Champions face a tough challenge in going to the Beaumont Legal Stadium for a clash with Wakefield Trinity but the return of captain Sean O’Loughlin will be a big confidence boost for the team.
The battle for automatic return to Super League
Widnes Vikings will travel to Perpignan on Saturday as they face Catalans Dragons in a crunch clash for the final automatic return spot to the Betfred Super League for 2018. Warrington Wolves have already secured their place in the top tier for next season while Hull Kingston Rovers gained promotion at the first time of asking. The Vikings have never won in the South of France under Denis Betts but are going into the game on the back of a good win over London Broncos last weekend. The Dragons are in good form as well though, having won their last three games so it has all the ingredients to be a cracker.
The Trueman Show
We all saw what Jake Trueman produced on his debut for Castleford Tigers against Wigan Warriors last weekend. He scored a first half hat-trick while also grabbing an assist for Greg Eden’s opener. But it wasn’t just his tries that stood out, his all-round game looked impressive too, with four tackle busts as well as six attacking kicks placed. He played in Castleford’s defeat in the Under-19s Academy Grand Final a couple of weeks ago and has been recently named in England Academy’s 22-man squad for a tour to France this autumn. He is expected to start again for the Tigers this week against Hull but can he back up last week’s dazzling performance with another one this time around?
Can Featherstone get a win this year?
Part-time Championship side Featherstone Rovers had a poor 2016 campaign in The Qualifiers, losing all seven games. However, this year, they have improved and have grabbed a point against London Broncos with one game still left to play. John Duffy’s outfit face a tough trip to The Shay as they face Halifax on Sunday but they are capable of getting the win, having run Hull KR and Catalans Dragons close this term. With Kyle Briggs, Scott Turner, Daniel Igbinedion and Jamie Cording leaving the club at the end of the season, can they send them out on a high by getting their first ever win in The Qualifiers?
Which is going to be the most entertaining game this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.