Peter Thomas gives us his take on tonight’s game.
Whilst most teams got a weekend off, Warrington were happy to be playing in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final. Of course this is probably because they were victorious against Leeds and are now off to Wembley. But that’s three weeks away and now all focus must be on the Super 8s.
Many believe the Super 8s to be a flawed format with pundits across the board already believing that the top 4 after 23 rounds will be the same too 4 after 30. That does the teams in 5-8th a little disservice though to suggest they have nothing to play for and after all, the higher you finish, the greater the revenue received. So there is competition right up to the last game.
Come Friday, the Wire’s first opponent will, funnily enough, be the team that they’ll face at Wembley, the Dragons. After their most complete team performance of the year so far Catalan put the heavily favoured Saints to the sword in some style. Any team that can do that are obviously dangerous and though Warrington are at home, it’ll be tough.
The two meetings so far have produced one victory and latterly a draw. The team that Warrington beat in the South of France though are not the team who will be travelling this week. McNamara has worked some magic, and I for one had them destined for the bottom four. Remember they were in the Million Pound Game last year. Josh Drinkwater has proven pivotal, but they have a strong team across the park.
Both teams seemed to win easily at Bolton, but Catalan probably had to work that bit harder for their victory. They will have had equal rest and recovery time but I believe that The Wire will be successful. Home field advantage, an established and relatively consistent squad should just help edge the match in their favour, but after the weekend, who knows!
Score Prediction: Warrington 23-16 Catalans