Betfred Super League: Wakefield & Castleford In Gargantuan Survival Clash

The stakes couldn't be higher at Belle Vue
07:00, 18 Aug 2023

In terms of adverts for the high-stakes nature of Betfred Super League rugby, they just don't come bigger than Friday night's clash between Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers.

After a mad couple of weeks during which eight of the 12 clubs haven't had a game but there has been plenty of changes behind the scenes, the Super League is back with perhaps the biggest game of the season. Here's everything you need to know about Friday's action.

Huddersfield Giants v Salford Red Devils

Where: John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield.

When: 7:45pm (BST)

TV: No UK screening

Huddersfield's last five: Lost 18-32 @ St Helens (Rd 1), Won 28-0 @ Castleford (Rd 21), Won 19-12 v Hull FC (Rd 20), Won 34-6 v Wakefield (Rd 19), Won 22-14 @ Catalans (Rd 18)

Salford's last five: 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), Lost 6-32 @ Wakefield (Rd 17)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Huddersfield 2/5, Salford 21/10, draw 18/1

First try scorer odds: Sam Halsall (Huddersfield) 8/1, Ken Sio (Salford) 9/1, Jake Bibby (Huddersfield) 9/1, Joe Burgess (Salford) 10/1, Kevin Naiqama (Huddersfield) 12/1


Chris McQueen is one appearance away from reaching 250 in his career and Ashton Golding is one shy of 150, while their Huddersfield team-mate Jake Bibby is on the verge of 150 in Super League. Matty English is also set to make his 100th in Super League, while winger Jermaine McGillvary has 249 career tries to his name.

For Salford, Marc Sneyd will make his 100th appearance for the club if selected. It would also be his 50th of his second spell at the AJ Bell having made an identical number in his first stint with Salford. Team-mate Ken Sio will hit the 100 mark for tries in Super League with one more touchdown.


Previous meetings:

Round 7, 2023: Salford Red Devils 16, Huddersfield Giants 26

Eliminator, 2022: Huddersfield Giants 0, Salford Red Devils 28

Round 23, 2022: Salford Red Devils 33, Huddersfield Giants 16

Round 18, 2022: Huddersfield Giants 30, Salford Red Devils 18

Round 4, 2022: Huddersfield Giants 34, Salford Red Devils 2

Total Super League meetings: 53 (Huddersfield 23, Salford 30, no draws)

Huddersfield's mini-renaissance took a hit last week when their 12 men were seen off by St Helens, and that loss means Ian Watson and his men will now have to go some to make it into the top six by the end of the season. The Giants have been boosted by the news that Joe Greenwood is free to play after he received a fine following his sending-off against former club Saints, with the red card deemed sufficient enough in terms of on-field penalty. 

Salford need to get back into a groove over the final six weeks to have any hope of a play-off spot, having lost seven straight games in league and cup competition. The loss of form has come at a time when Paul Rowley has lost various members of his favoured squad, but even with some of his star names back the Red Devils have struggled in recent weeks.

Sportsman stat: Salford haven't beaten any other team in Super League as often as they've beaten Huddersfield, with their 30 wins against the Giants dwarfing their next highest number of victories (23 against London Broncos).

St Helens v Hull Kingston Rovers

Where: Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.

When: 8pm (BST)

TV: No UK screening

St Helens' last five: 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), Won 24-20 @ Warrington (Rd 18)

Hull KR's last five: 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), Lost 4-34 @ Leigh (Rd 17)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): St Helens 1/6, Hull KR 4/1, draw 22/1

First try scorer oddsTommy Makinson (St Helens) 13/2, Tee Ritson (St Helens) 8/1, Jack Welsby (St Helens) 8/1, Jon Bennison (St Helens) 9/1, Ben Davies (St Helens) 11/1


Saints' Mark Percival is on 992 Super League points and 99 tries, and team-mate James Bell is one game shy of 100 career appearances. Konrad Hurrell would make it to 100 career tries with one more.


Previous meetings:

Round 9, 2023: Hull Kingston Rovers 26, St Helens 14

Round 24, 2022: St Helens 38, Hull Kingston Rovers 12

Round 15, 2022: St Helens 26, Hull Kingston Rovers 18

Round 4, 2022: Hull Kingston Rovers 8, St Helens 42

Round 2, 2021: Hull Kingston Rovers 0, St Helens 25

Total Super League meetings: 33 (St Helens 22, Hull Kingston Rovers 10, one draw)

For a team who the common consensus has down as having underperformed in 2023, St Helens have done superbly well to push their way up to third in Super League, level on points with second-placed Wigan Warriors. If Paul Wellens can continue to coax wins out of his side then the four-time defending league winners and world club champions will again be the team to beat. 

Rovers have an added incentive in the play-off run-in now, with last week's Betfred Challenge Cup final defeat to Leigh Leopards in golden-point extra-time having shown just how close they are to a trophy-winning outfit. Willie Peters has named 16 of the 17 players who turned out at Wembley, with only the suspended Elliot Michella missing out of the matchday squad last Saturday.

Sportsman stat: Rovers' win over Saints earlier in the season was their first in 14 attempts against the Red V.

Wakefield Trinity v Castleford Tigers

Where: Be Well Support Stadium, Wakefield.

When: 8pm (BST)

TV: Sky Sports Arena

Wakefield's last five: 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), Won 32-6 v Salford (Rd 17)

Castleford's last five: 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), Lost 0-22 @ St Helens (Rd 17)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Wakefield 8/11, Castleford 6/5, draw 18/1

First try scorer odds: Innes Senior (Wakefield) 6/1, Tom Lineham (Wakefield) 7/1, Greg Eden (Castleford) 8/1, Elliot Wallis (Castleford) 9/1, Reece Lyne (Wakefield) 11/1


Matty Ashurst could make his 300th Super League appearance, while David Fifita is one appearance away from 150 over his two spells with Wakefield and Jay Pitts is on 99 games for Trinity. With eight more points, Tom Lineham will reach 500 points in Super League with a couple more tries, while Blake Austin's first Castleford Tigers game will be his 100th in the British top flight. Greg Eden needs three tries to hit 150 in his career.


Previous meetings:

Round 8, 2023: Castleford Tigers 16, Wakefield Trinity 4

Round 21, 2022: Castleford Tigers 6, Wakefield Trinity 32

Round 8, 2022: Wakefield Trinity 4, Castleford Tigers 34

Round 20, 2021: Castleford Tigers 23, Wakefield Trinity 18

Round 10, 2021: Wakefield Trinity 12, Castleford  Tigers 18

Total Super League meetings: 59 (Wakefield 21, Castleford 38, no draws)

Wakefield have a fantastic recent home record to defend in what is the biggest test yet of their magnificent survival bid having lost their first 14 matches of the Super League season. Four straight victories at Belle Vue have given them a superb chance to stay up but coach Mark Applegarth will know that defeat to Castleford would be a massive blow to their hopes of being in the top flight next term.

Cas really should have been home and hosed weeks ago but a consistently abysmal run has seen them fire a second head coach this season, replacing Andy Last with Danny Ward for the final six matches. The former London Broncos boss now has to get his new troops whipped into shape for a four-pointer of gargantuan levels.

Sportsman stat: Castleford have never finished with a tally lower than 12 points in a Super League season, with that exact total being their lowest (recorded in 1997, 2004, 2012 and 2020). They currently boast eight in 2023.

Wigan Warriors v Hull FC

Where: DW Stadium, Wigan.

When: 8pm (BST)

TV: No UK screening

Wigan's last five: Won 64-6 v Hull KR (Rd 21), Won 44-18 v Leigh (Rd 20), Won 26-12 v Warrington (Rd 19), Lost 26-27 @ Wakefield (Rd 18), Won 22-6 v Huddersfield (Rd 17)

Hull FC's last five: Won 42-4 v Wakefield (Rd 21), Lost 12-19 @ Huddersfield (Rd 20), Won 36-18 v Castleford (Rd 19), Won 16-6 @ Hull KR (Rd 18), Lost 18-28 v Catalans (Rd 17)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Wigan 1/4, Hull FC 16/5, draw 20/1

First try scorer odds: Abbas Miski (Wigan) 15/2, Liam Marshall (Wigan) 15/2, Bevan French (Wigan) 8/1, Jai Field (Wigan) 9/1, Adam Swift (Hull FC) 11/1


Willie Isa and Liam Byrne are both one game away from Wigan milestones, with Isa on 199 games for the club and Byrne on 99. If Harry Smith hits 11 points, he will chalk up a round 500 in a Warriors shirt.


Previous meetings:

Round 11, 2023: Hull FC 14, Wigan Warriors 10

Round 19, 2022: Wigan Warriors 60, Hull FC 0

Round 13, 2022: Hull FC 31, Wigan Warriors 22

Round 7, 2022: Wigan Warriors 19, Hull FC 18

Round 24, 2021: Hull FC 0, Wigan Warriors 10

Total Super League meetings: 64 (Wigan 48, Hull FC 14, two draws)

For all the ups and downs of countless clubs in Super League, Wigan Warriors are just about the only outfit few people have any doubts about. They are likely to make the play-offs with plenty to spare, and probably won't do so as League Leaders' Shield winners. Matt Peet has moved his side into a comfortable enough position with six rounds to go, and a win against Hull FC would all but guarantee them a top-six finish with five still to play.

Hull, though, have a fair bit of work to do. Although their form is dramatically improved from the opening 10 weeks of the season, they are still not putting together quite enough wins to be in a positive position in the jostle for the top six. They did hammer Wakefield on their last outing, but it might take four or even five wins in their last six to claim a play-off place.

Sportsman stat: Hull FC have scored four points or fewer in four of their last nine matches against Wigan.


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.