Hull Kingston Rovers' assault on the top spots in the Betfred Super League faces a real test on Thursday night when they host second-placed Wigan Warriors. Willie Peters' side know that a home win will take them above the Warriors into the top two, further entrenching them among the contenders in 2023.
For Wigan's part, they will be looking to build on last week's Betfred Challenge Cup win over Leeds Rhinos having lost their last two Super League games to Leeds and Hull FC.
Here is everything you need to know about Thursday's opening game of Round 13.
Hull Kingston Rovers v Wigan Warriors
Where: Sewell Group Craven Park, Hull.
TV: Sky Sports Arena
Hull KR's last five: Lost 14-21 @ Warrington (Rd 12), Won 28-0 v Huddersfield (Rd 11), Won 12-7 @ Castleford (Rd 10), Won 26-14 v St Helens (Rd 9), Won 40-0 @ Hull FC (Rd 8)
Wigan's last five: Lost 18-40 v Leeds (Rd 12), Lost 10-14 @ Hull FC (Rd 11), Won 22-6 v Wakefield (Rd 10), Won 13-6 @ Warrington (Rd 9), Won 14-6 v St Helens (Rd 8)
Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Hull KR 11/10, Wigan 8/11, draw 20/1
First try scorer odds: Bevan French (Wigan) 6/1, Abbas Miski (Wigan) 8/1, Liam Marshall (Wigan) 8/1, Ryan Hall (Hull KR) 8/1, Iain Thornley (Wigan) 11/1
Round 1, 2023: Hull Kingston Rovers 27, Wigan Warriors 18
Round 26, 2022: Hull Kingston Rovers 38, Wigan Warriors 28
Round 21, 2022: Wigan Warriors 46, Hull Kingston Rovers 4
Round 1, 2022: Hull Kingston Rovers 10, Wigan Warriors 24
Round 19, 2021: Hull Kingston Rovers 26, Wigan Warriors 14
Total Super League meetings: 36 (Hull KR 11, Wigan 24, one draw)
Rovers are a club on the up at the moment, with the news of Peta Hiku's addition for 2024 being the latest reason for good vibes among the fan base. While they are losing captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall to retirement, the former New Zealand international will stay on as a coach at the club. Meanwhile on the field, they are firmly ensconced in the top four even despite the absences of Lachlan Coote, Jordan Abdull and Rowan Milnes through injury. Having lost to the league-leading Warrington Wolves last time out they then hammered Batley Bulldogs 50-0 in the Challenge Cup to set up a quarter-final tie with Salford Red Devils.
Matt Peet will have been pleased with his Wigan side's response to a humiliating 40-18 home defeat to 12-man Leeds Rhinos in their last Super League outing. The Warriors headed over to Headingley last Saturday to exact revenge with an 18-14 Challenge Cup win after coming from 14-0 behind. Their Round 1 defeat at Craven Park was one of their poor displays of a largely positive season, and Peet will ask his troops to put in a full 80-minute shift this time rather than repeat that inconsistent performance.
Sportsman stat: Rovers' run of five wins in seven against Wigan represents their best ever Super League streak against the Warriors. They once lost 13 straight between 2007 and 2014, including a club record 84-6 home defeat on April Fools' Day 2013.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change