The second round of Super League matches continues on Friday night when the Wakefield Trinity host the Salford Red Devils in a match which even this early in the campaign could offer some significance to both.
We saw last week when Wakefield disposed of Hull KR that they are not intending to just make up the numbers this season. We also saw with Salford losing to Wigan quite heavily that their slump in form at the end of the last campaign has carried over to this one.
After finishing just outside the play-offs last season many people were wondering whether Wakefield Trinity could keep their form up and be competitive again this time around but on the evidence of the opening week they are aiming to be much more than just competitive. The signs are that they are ready to kick on again.
One thing you know about this Wakefield side is they have a lot of points in them and having Tom Johnstone back is like having a new signing. The success or otherwise of their season is likely to be determined by how well they defend over the course of the campaign but last week suggested they have improved there too.
Salford Red Devils
It is not an easy time for the Salford Red Devils at the minute. Expectations went through the roof when they began last season so well and made it to the Challenge Cup semi-final but the air disappeared from their balloon when they lost that match and they finished the campaign in shocking form.
That continued last week when an injury ravaged Wigan Warriors side brushed them away and you have to fear for them a little were they to go on and be well beaten in this match. There are off field issues at the Red Devils which doesn’t help either and you get the feeling this is a really big match for their fortunes.
Trinity have made one change to their squad with Craig Huby recovering from injury to take his place in it at the expense of Chris Annakin. Tom Johnstone and David Fifita catch the eye in the 19 man list.
This will be a much different Salford Red Devils to the one we have become accustomed to seeing with the likes of Todd Carney, Michael Dobson and Ben Murdoch-Masila a thing of the past. Logan Tomkins is available here while Ben Nakubuwai and Derrell Olpherts could make debuts.
The solid performance that Hull KR put in on Friday night suggests that the win Wakefield Trinity managed over them last week was one that we should take notice of and as such I think the Yorkshire outfit can follow up with another victory here.
Salford Red Devils have plenty of issues at the minute not least their defence which has already begun the season leaking like a sieve. There is the chance that the TV cameras will inspire them to a big performance but even then I’m worried about their defence and I’m not convinced they are as dynamic in attack this year. I think Wakefield win this and cover a 10pt handicap.
Back Wakefield Trinity (-10) to beat Salford Red Devils for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill