Betfred Super League: Hull KR & Leigh In Cup Repeat As Play-Off Race Intensifies

The Leopards head to east Hull on Friday
07:00, 25 Aug 2023

The Betfred Super League only gets more compelling by the week, with the top-six battle becoming more and more fierce while there are further crunch fixtures ahead at the bottom of the table.

The pick of the action of Friday sees Hull Kingston Rovers and Leigh Leopards meet in front of the cameras less than a fortnight on from turning in one of the greatest Challenge Cup finals in living memory. Here's everything you need to know about Friday's action.

Salford Red Devils v Wakefield Trinity

Where: AJ Bell Stadium, Salford.

When: 7:45pm (BST)

TV: No UK screening

Salford's last five: Won 32-8 @ Huddersfield (Rd 22), Lost 15-18 v St Helens (Rd 21), Lost 0-42 @ Catalans (Rd 20), Lost 22-24 v Leigh (Rd 19), Lost 14-16 v Leeds (Rd 18)

Wakefield's last five: Lost 12-28 v Castleford (Rd 22), Lost 4-42 @ Hull FC (Rd 21), Won 42-6 v Warrington (Rd 20), Lost 6-34 @ Huddersfield (Rd 19), Won 27-26 v Wigan (Rd 18)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Salford 1/5, Wakefield 18/5, draw 22/1

First try scorer odds: Ken Sio (Salford) 6/1, Joe Burgess (Salford) 7/1, Tim Lafai (Salford) 9/1, Tom Lineham (Wakefield) 14/1, Deon Cross (Salford) 14/1


Ken Sio will be making his 100th appearance for Salford if selected, while Sam Stone is in line for his 100th senior career outing. With 16 more points Marc Sneyd will reach 2,000 at Super League level.

For Wakefield, Reece Lyne is on the verge of making his 250th career appearance and Tom Lineham needs eigh more points for 500 in Super League.


Previous meetings:

Round 17, 2023: Wakefield Trinity 32, Salford Red Devils 6

Round 5, 2023: Salford Red Devils 14, Wakefield Trinity 13

Round 16, 2022: Salford Red Devils 74, Wakefield Trinity 10

Round 7, 2022: Wakefield Trinity 30, Salford Red Devils 24

Round 12, 2021: Salford Red Devils 24, Wakefield Trinity 14

Total Super League meetings: 53 (Salford 21, Wakefield 30, two draws)

Salford got back into a groove last week with a big win over Huddersfield Giants, having lost seven straight games in league and cup competition. That loss of form had left them playing catch-up in the play-off race but they are now among five teams separated by only two points between fifth and ninth as the tussle for top-six qualification reaches boiling point.

Wakefield need a response following last week's derby defeat to Castleford Tigers, their first home loss in five matches. With only five weeks remaining of the season, Trinity are now back to being big favourites to suffer the drop to the Betfred Championship.

Sportsman stat: Wakefield's Will Dagger has the highest goal kicking percentage in Super League this season with 88.89% but was only chosen as the 18th player against Castleford last week.

Castleford Tigers v St Helens

Where: Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castleford.

When: 8pm (BST)

TV: No UK screening

Castleford's last five: Won 28-12 @ Wakefield (Rd 22), Lost 0-28 v Huddersfield (Rd 21), Lost 16-34 @ Hull KR (Rd 20), Lost 18-36 @ Hull FC (Rd 19), Lost 16-34 v Leigh (Rd 18)

St Helens' last five: Won 28-6 v Hull KR (Rd 22), Won 32-18 v Huddersfield (Rd 1), Won 18-15 @ Salford (Rd 21), Won 22-18 @ Leeds (Rd 20), Lost 12-14 v Catalans (Rd 19)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Castleford 13/5, St Helens 3/10, draw 20/1

First try scorer oddsTommy Makinson (St Helens) 7/1, Job Bennison (St Helens) 8/1, Tee Ritson (St Helens) 9/1, Jack Welsby (St Helens) 11/1, Greg Eden (Castleford) 11/1


Cas winger Greg Eden will make his 200th career appearance if he gets on, while Saints' Mark Percival is on 99 Super League tries and 990 career points in the Red V. His team-mate Konrad Hurrell is on 99 tries in all competitions but misses out on the 21-man squad again this week.


Previous meetings:

Round 17, 2023: St Helens 22, Castleford Tigers 0

Round 2, 2023: Castleford Tigers 6, St Helens 24

Round 22, 2022: St Helens 20, Castleford Tigers 12

Round 10, 2022: Castleford Tigers 30, St Helens 10

Round 19, 2021: St Helens 10, Castleford Tigers 20

Total Super League meetings: 61 (Castleford 10, St Helens 50, one draw)

While last week's win over Wakefield gave Castleford just the kind of buffer they haven't had in recent times in the relegation scrap, Danny Ward will know that any let-up in intensity could reopen the door for Trinity. And while few will be expecting the Tigers to record a first win over St Helens this season, Cas now know where the bar is in terms of performance level after their 28-12 victory at Belle Vue. They will need to maintain that over these final five weeks.

Saints have worked their way into a dangerous position ahead of the last five rounds, and now that they are level with the second-placed Wigan Warriors they will be looking to keep up the pressure in their bid for a home semi-final. Paul Wellens has named the same 21-player selection that was chosen for last week's win over Hull Kingston Rovers, and consistency is one thing Saints have found elusive at times this term.

Sportsman stat: Saints' Tommy Makinson finished third in Super League for tries, four for goals and top of the points scoring chart in 2022. At present he remains in the top five for tries and seventh for points in 2023 despite missing six of his club's 22 games.

Hull Kingston Rovers v Leigh Leopards

Where: Sewell Group Craven Park, Hull.

When: 8pm (BST)

TV: Sky Sports Action

Hull KR's last five: Lost 6-28 @ St Helens (Rd 22), Lost 6-64 @ Wigan (Rd 21), Won 34-16 v Castleford (Rd 20), Won 19-18 @ Leeds (Rd 19), Lost 6-16 v Hull FC (Rd 18)

Leigh's last five: Lost 14-30 v Catalans (Rd 22), Won 13-6 @ Leeds (Rd 21), Lost 18-44 @ Wigan (Rd 20), Won 24-22 @ Salford (Rd 19), Won 34-16 @ Castleford (Rd 18)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Hull KR 8/11, Leigh 6/5, draw 18/1

Handicap betting (Leigh +1.5)Hull KR 4/5, Leigh 20/21


Tom Briscoe will be making his 400th career appearance if selected, while team-mate Joe Mellor is two tries away from reaching a century in senior rugby league.


Previous meetings:

Round 17, 2023: Leigh Leopards 34, Hull Kingston Rovers 4

Round 3, 2023: Hull Kingston Rovers 25, Leigh Leopards 30

Round 23, 2021: Hull Kingston Rovers 44, Leigh Centurions 6

Round 18, 2021: Leigh Centurions 28, Hull Kingston Rovers 34

Round 8, 2021: Hull Kingston Rovers 40, Leigh Centurions 16

Total Super League meetings: 5 (Hull KR 3, Leigh 2, no draws)

Having been on the verge of Betfred Challenge Cup glory, Rovers are now a side who have dropped out of the Super League's top six and need a win to arrest a three-game skid in all competitions. Willie Peters' side owe Leigh one after their heartbreaking golden-point defeat to the Leopards at Wembley, and it is probably fair to say their two defeats to the same side in the regular season so far have been among KR's most disappointing showings in 2023.

After losing to Catalans Dragons last week, Leigh will want to reinforce their play-off credentials as well as banish any thoughts that they will attempt to coast through the rest of the campaign after their Wembley triumph over Friday's opponents. A victory at Craven Park will all-but guarantee them a play-off spot, but defeat would leave them looking over their shoulders having at one point looked a fair bet for a top-two finish.

Sportsman stat: Having both suffered Million Pound Game defeats (Hull KR in 2016 and Leigh in 2017), these two teams never actually met in a Super League fixture until 2021, save for Middle 8s clashes. This will be their eighth meeting in all competitions in the last three seasons, taking in six Super League games and two Challenge Cup ties, including - of course - the final earlier this month.


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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