The Super League returns from the break for the Challenge Cup quarter finals on Friday night when the final match to be played behind closed doors before crowds return on Monday takes place when the Leeds Rhinos host Wakefield Trinity.
Both these sides have been in something of a slump over the last few weeks so they will each be hoping that the break for the Challenge Cup which allowed them to have a week off will have had the desired effect.
Where to watch
The match will be shown in full live on the Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports YouTube channels. The lead up to the match begins at 7.30pm with the match itself kicking off at 7.45pm.
The Leeds Rhinos opened up their season with a win, ironically over the Wakefield Trinity side, but haven’t won any of their last five in the league or cup since then so there is no doubt that the break came at a good time for them. It should be said that their issues in terms of defeats has been down to an insane amount of injuries which nobody could have foreseen this early in a campaign. What hasn’t helped them is a couple of suspensions which they could have done without.
They have got a couple of players back over the break which should help them here but what that split in the season has done, as well as allow them to recharge their batteries, is just take stock and work out how they can win matches with the personnel that they have at their disposal. Clubs like Leeds can only use injuries as an excuse for so long before they need to start getting results and you would think that has to begin here.
If you think the start to the season for the Leeds Rhinos has been poor it has been even worse for Wakefield Trinity. They have lost every match this term in league and cup and you have to be brutally honest and say they haven’t really been competitive in too many of them. To be fair to Trinity, like their opponents here, they are also full of injuries to some key players and their squad lacks the depth of the Rhinos which is an issue.
Trinity have lost a couple of their six matches by a score but the others have all been runaway wins for their opponents. The one thing you would say is they have had a tough schedule. They are yet to face any of the teams who would have been expected to be at the bottom end of the table come the end of the season, but they don’t really face one here either which isn’t ideal for them. They will need the break to have served its purpose.
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Leeds Rhinos boss Richard Agar will have captain and main playmaker Luke Gale back for this match which will be a huge boost because it is his halves which have been affected the most this season. Robert Lui and Ritchie Myler remain out.
Wakefield Trinity are still without their best player in Tom Johnstone as he is off to see a specialist to try and get to the bottom of the concussion symptoms he keeps experiencing. Chris Chester does have Matty Ashurst available to him which is a boost.
Leeds Rhinos met Wakefield Trinity to open up the season and the Rhinos were six point winners on that occasion. Wakefield had Tom Johnstone available then though and he duly scored a couple of tries. He isn’t available here though and clearly since his absence the Wakefield output in terms of points and tries has diminished. Leeds themselves have struggled to put points on the board but in the main their defence hasn’t been too bad.
I see no reason why with a couple of weeks on the training field, their defence will not remain as strong as it was, or dare I say have gotten better, and the one thing which is likely to happen is they are likely to get into better positions to attack the opposing try line from courtesy of the kicking game and creativity of the returning Luke Gale. We’ve seen Wakefield be competitive for 40-60 minutes in matches before fading towards the end and I sense that could happen again here. I expect the Rhinos to complete the double over Trinity and this time cover the eight point start.
Back Leeds Rhinos (-8) to beat Wakefield Trinity for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Betfred