The Super League XXVIII regular season concludes on Friday night when the entire division are on show on an evening where we will find out which team wins the League Leaders’ Shield and which six will embark on the playoffs.
There is so much still at stake over the course of the night with three teams battling for top spot and a straight race between two others for the last of the playoff spots. One of the six matches will be live on the TV and the coverage will have full updates on what is happening elsewhere.
Friday’s fixtures are as follows: (All 8pm. UK TV in brackets)
Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers
Leigh Leopards v Wigan Warriors (Sky Main Event & Sky Arena)
Salford Red Devils v Catalans Dragons
St Helens v Hull FC
Wakefield Trinity v Hull Kingston Rovers
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The TV match comes from the Leigh Sports Village where the Leigh Leopards take on their local rivals Wigan Warriors in what is a huge match for the visitors. Wigan have the League Leaders’ Shield in their own destiny and if they win they will secure that piece of silverware and top spot in the table. Were they to slip up then they leave the door open. Leigh aren’t playing for nothing though. The Challenge Cup winners need to win to secure home advantage in the playoffs next week. Catalans Dragons are the first team hoping that Wigan slip up. Were they to do that they would win the Leaders’ Shield if they can go to the Salford Red Devils and win. Salford go into that match knowing they have to win to have a chance of finishing in the top six so there is plenty on that.
St Helens are the other team who are in contention to finish top of the table and take everything that comes with it. The champions need help from the two above them and to beat Hull FC if they are going to top the pile. The other matches with something on them see the Warrington Wolves heading to the Huddersfield Giants knowing that a win will get them into the top six but defeat leaves them vulnerable. Hull KR head to relegated Wakefield Trinity looking for a win which will take them up to fourth in the table should Leigh lose to Wigan. The one dead rubber comes from Headingley where the Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers conclude very disappointing seasons.
With so much competitive action on Friday it feels wrong to bet on the match with nothing on it but I just can’t see how the Castleford Tigers are the price they are to beat a Leeds Rhinos side who haven’t scored a point in their last two matches and shipped 111 points in the process. Admittedly they were against the top two in the table but it just stinks of a side who have downed tools for the season, albeit with injuries certainly doing them no favours at all.
Castleford Tigers have been abject all season but they might have a little more to play for here. There are a number of players leaving the Mend-a-Hose after this match and will want to sign off in style but also there are plenty of former Rhinos in this Castleford side who might have a point to prove. Neither of these teams are in much form but Castleford have won both meetings with Leeds this season and this derby feels more important to them than their hosts. Leeds have plenty out injured here so the price on Castleford is just too big.
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