The second day of the Magic Weekend in the Super League begins with two bottom half sides doing battle when the Salford Red Devils take on Hull KR at Anfield to get another potentially exciting Sunday of action started.
Given where both sit in the table they will both be looking for a win in this match which should immediately provide us with some competitiveness to this encounter. How much quality we get remains to be seen.
Salford Red Devils
If there is a side who have surprised me in Super League this season so far then it is undoubtedly the Salford Red Devils. I must admit I had them earmarked for a relegation battle but they have shoved that down my throat and actually they are only a consistent run of form over the next few weeks away from potentially being a play-off side, which would be an incredible feat given where they were heading into the campaign.
Surprisingly they are the fourth best offensive side in the competition in terms of points scored and they are the fourth best defensive team too so if they put both together at any point they are entitled to be dangerous. They won’t have gone into many Magic Weekend’s as favourites to win their match though so it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out.
Hull Kingston Rovers made a lively enough start to their season but it has tailed off fairly alarmingly in recent times and they head into Magic Weekend off the back of five successive losses in the Super League, a run they will be eager to halt here. That has seen them slip right down the table and they are now only off the foot of it on point difference. Their need for a win is fairly obvious.
In that losing run only Leeds Rhinos, another struggling side, have not scored 30pts against them so if there is a positive for Rovers, it comes in the fact that they don’t have to look too deep to see where they have been going wrong. If they can find some defensive stability then it would give them a chance of improving results, but this big pitch might not be the place to find it.
Jake Bibby comes into the Salford Red Devils side for this match in what is expected to be their only change. Ben Nakubuwai is the man who makes way from the side who lost to St Helens last weekend.
Hull KR will welcome Mose Masoe and Shaun Lunt back from injury for this match while Will Dagger could feature for the first time since Easter as they make their way across the Pennines to take in the Anfield experience.
Salford Red Devils certainly shouldn’t lack for motivation in this match. Just two weeks ago in the Challenge Cup these two met and they were well ahead only to collapse and get knocked out and I’m sure the Manchester side will be eager to avoid a repeat of that. If they get themselves on top in this match I expect them to go for the jugular.
Hull KR are clearly suffering from a confident crisis in the league and it might just have been that the cup freed them up a little a couple of weeks ago. If it did they reverted back to the norm last week when suffering a disappointing defeat at Huddersfield and as long as Salford’s late heartache at the hands of St Helens hasn’t lingered in their minds then I expect them to win this and cover eight points.
Back Salford Red Devils (-8) to beat Hull KR for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Betway