More than four months after its last game the Super League is back on Sunday when the competition returns behind closed doors with every match in August being shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.
Headingley and the Totally Wicked Stadium are the only two venues in use for the first month of the season where the 11 remaining sides after the withdrawal of the Toronto Wolfpack will be eyeing up the top four and the playoffs in November.
Format and Rule Changes
There has been a change in the format of the season. The ‘loop matches’ and Magic Weekend have bitten the dust so teams will play 20 regular season matches ahead of the playoffs. Scrums are a thing of the past for the remainder of the season. They are being replaced with a tap restart to prevent the spread of the virus. The ‘six to go’ rule that is being used in NRL is also coming into the Super League with more eyes likely to be on the game with other sports yet to get back up and running.
St Helens vs Catalans Dragons (16.15)
The first game back from the lockdown sees the defending Super League champions St Helens looking to get their campaign back on track after a pretty ordinary first month or so of the season. They take on a Catalans Dragons side who sit above them with three wins from their four matches but who are notoriously poor travellers.
The big news during lockdown was the return to St Helens of James Graham and he could be in for his second debut for the club having been named in their 21-man squad for this fixture. Catalans aren’t short of former NRL stars themselves and all eyes will be on James Maloney in particular. The controversial Israel Folau has also been named in the squad for the Dragons. I’m tempted to think that Catalans are in receipt of too big a start getting 10pts but I’ll just watch and see if the real St Helens are the ones to come out of lockdown.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER FOR THE RETURN OF SUPER LEAGUE! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Huddersfield Giants vs Leeds Rhinos (18.30)
The second match of the double header to get the season underway again sees arguably the two surprise packages of the early part of the campaign going at it when the Huddersfield Giants take on the Leeds Rhinos with top spot the reward for the winners.
Leeds look to have had a right touch here with this match being played at their home ground of Headingley instead of the John Smith’s Stadium and are marginal favourites to take advantage of that. Huddersfield won four of their five matches prior to lockdown and shouldn’t be underestimated going into this match given their form so far this term.
This should be a good watch because the half-backs on show here really are top class. Leeds have the good pairing of Luke Gale and Robert Lui while ‘Sezer the Geezer’, Aidan Sezer was arguably the best player in the competition prior to the lockdown. It is those half-back combinations that make me think we’ll get a few points in this match. The rule changes lead to more points and more tries and we should see that play out here between two teams who have plenty of attacking mite. The point line for this match is 44.5 and I like the over.
Back Huddersfield Giants vs Leeds Rhinos – Over 44.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Bet365