Super League Round Two predictions: Love Rugby League versus Sky Sports pundit Barrie McDermott

Drew Darbyshire
Barrie McDermott Sky Sports predictions

In a new weekly series coming this season, the Love Rugby League team will be taking on the Sky Sports experts in making predictions for each Super League round.

Just for a bit of fun, we’re going to keep a running league table, so it’ll be 1 point for a correct result and 3 points for a correct scoreline. This can either make us experts look like we know what we’re talking about, or, indeed, quite the opposite! We’ll keep a running table all season.

Last week we had Sky Sports‘ Kyle Amor facing Love Rugby League‘s Drew Darbyshire, and now it’s time for Barrie McDermott to make his predictions for Round Two of Super League.

Please note there are only five Super League games this weekend, with champions Wigan Warriors taking on their NRL counterparts Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge on Saturday night.

Hull Kingston Rovers v Leeds Rhinos

Mikey Lewis
Mikey Lewis celebrates Hull KR’s derby day win at Hull FC on Super League 2024’s opening night

BM: I was really impressed with Hull KR last week, to handle what was thrown at them physicality-wise and then use that intelligence to get the victory. I have always admired Elliot Minchella and I think with him as captain they’ve got the right temperament as well. I think Hull KR have got this game,  by 8.

Just on Leeds, I think it’s going to be a good year for the Rhinos. I see them as play-off contenders and if they get a good run of victories, I think they can finish in the top four. These two sides, outside of the usual suspects at the top, I think they’re the ones that are likely to try and get into that top four. Although I see Leeds losing out in this one, I think it’s going to be a good year for the Rhinos.

Barrie’s pick: Hull KR by 8

DD: It was a good start to the season for Hull KR last week, but I think they’ve got plenty of improvement left in them. With it being their first game at Craven Park this season, I reckon Peters’ side will be eager to put on a show for their fans. I feel it’s going to be a couple of months into the season until we see the best of Leeds because they’ve got a lot of new additions.

Drew’s pick: Hull KR by 8

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London Broncos v Catalans Dragons

Arthur Mourgue Catalans Dragons Alamy
Arthur Mourgue in action for Catalans in the 2023 Grand Final

BM: Catalans have a different feel about them now and I loved that hit last week from Tariq Sims. Catalans will come into this game determined to play better because I think although they got the win, there were elements of the game that they can fix up so I think they’ll play better and with what we saw from London last week, they’re just not quite up to speed and up to this level yet, so I’m expecting a big win for the Dragons.

Barrie’s pick: Catalans by 18 

DD: I think London will give it a good go seeing as though it’s their first home game of the season, with the Broncos expecting a 5,000 strong crowd. However, I do think the Dragons will just be too strong for them, with Steve McNamara’s side showing glimpses of their potential against Warrington last time out.

Drew’s pick: Catalans by 10

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Warrington Wolves v Hull FC

Sam Burgess
Warrington Wolves head coach Sam Burgess at the 2024 Super League season launch

BM: We’re all fascinated to see what big Sam (Burgess) is going to bring to that organisation and I think it’s a smart appointment because they’ve tried to go down the experienced coach route, particularly with Daryl Powell and Tony Smith, and it’s not quite worked has it? So going with someone with fresh eyes and fresh ideas and enthusiasm… Sam Burgess could be the most significant signing of the last 10 or 12 years. I know it’s going to come good, it’s just a case of when it will be.

I just fear for Hull FC, with the injuries, the suspensions and with the way that game went for them last week, I think already the pressure is piling on them because they didn’t perform well, they didn’t play well, they didn’t suit 2024 because in 2024 you’ve got to control your discipline. I’m expecting a big win from Warrington, I’m expecting Warrington show everyone their true credentials this week.

Barrie’s pick: Warrington by 16

DD: Hull are already doing it tough with injuries, with Tony Smith’s side well into double figures in terms of first team players currently in the treatment room. They are also without suspended packmen Franklin Pele, Herman Ese’ese and Ligi Sao this week, so I can only see there being one winner in this: Warrington.

Drew’s pick: Warrington by 14

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Huddersfield Giants v St Helens

Matt Whitley St Helens Alamy
Matt Whitley scores on his St Helens debut

BM: It’s going to be a game where kicking is really important. Huddersfield got a good result at Leigh last week, they are a team that can play on heavy ground, complete high and play behind a good kicking game.

I watched Saints win big last week. Daryl Clark got the man of the match because of the pressure he was under wearing the number nine shirt, but I thought Matt Whitley was really good on the left side and he’s a great buy for Saints. Saints go into the game as favourites and I think they’ll take the game, but I think it’ll be closer than you think.

Barrie’s pick: St Helens by 6

DD: I agree with Baz, I’m tipping Saints to come away with the two points but I think it’s going to be a tight one. I was impressed with Huddersfield last week and their mentality to hold on for the victory at Leigh, Jack Murchie looks a solid signing from the NRL and Leroy Cudjoe was excellent at loose forward.

Drew’s pick: St Helens by 4

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Salford Red Devils v Castleford Tigers

Kallum Watkins Salford Red Devils Alamy
Kallum Watkins in action for Salford

BM: It’s been a big week for Castleford but what they can’t do is feel sorry for themselves because Salford showed what they are all about (last week at Leeds). Paul Rowley sides have tremendous character, they can play, they ask questions and he really harnesses that underdog spirit better than anybody I think. Castleford showed signs of improvement last week but I just think Salford will have enough to get the victory.

Barrie’s pick: Salford by by 8

DD: I think this game has the potential to be one of the most entertaining clashes in Super League this weekend. Salford are so enjoyable to watch when they are in full flow, whilst Cas looked much-improved before Liam Watts was sent off last week. I think it’ll be a close affair, but I’m going to back home advantage on this one.

Drew’s pick: Salford by 2

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Love Rugby League versus Sky Sports: The running league table for predictions

Remember, it’s 1 point for a correct result and 3 points for a correct scoreline.  The scores on the doors after Round One: Love Rugby League 5-9 Sky Sports

Sky Sports is the home of Super League in 2024 – with every game live on the platform. You can purchase a Sky subscription including Sky Sports for £39.99 a month.

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