The Brett Ferres factor in Leeds v Huddersfield
It’s safe to say Leeds v Huddersfield on Friday night is a huge game for many reasons. Chief amongst them is the form of both sides so early in the year – with neither still able to pick up a point in the opening weeks of the season. However, the big subplot to it all is arguably Brett Ferres’ first encounter with former club Huddersfield following his acrimonious exit from the club late last year. The Giants insist there are no special plans for Ferres in place – but will he be targeted by Paul Anderson’s men?
Will Cas continue their hoodoo-ending run?
Cas created a few early-season headlines last week when they beat Hull FC at the KC Stadium – and in the progress, they picked up their first win at that ground for five years. They are now seeking their first summer era away win at St Helens on Friday (and first victory in 27 games overall). In the 15 visits they made to Knowsley Road between 1996 and 2010, the Tigers were defeated on 14 occasions. Castleford’s last win at St Helens, interestingly, was 12-8 in the third round of the Regal Trophy on 19 December, 1992!
How will halves-depleted Hull KR cope with Brown and Mellor?
There is a running theme so far this year of teams being robbed of star half-backs – and whilst most have had to do it without one of their first-choice pairing, Hull KR will be without both this Friday. They travel to table-topping Widnes without captain Terry Campese and Albert Kelly, both of whom are injured. Can Matty Marsh step in and compete with his opposite numbers, Kevin Brown and Joe Mellor? It will be fascinating to watch.
How will Catalans show up in England on Sunday?
We can only judge Catalans’ away form in 2016 on the solitary game they’ve played on the road thus far, and they weren’t too far away against Wigan – but their second visit across the Channel takes place this Sunday when they face Wakefield. Both teams have just one win to their name so far, and victory here could be vital in terms of the early-season running. Will Laurent Frayssinous’ men pick up a rare win in England? Their only win during the regular season in England last year came against Wakefield, incidentally.
Will Warrington cope without Kurt Gidley?
Another team without a star half-back is Warrington, who this Thursday will travel to Salford without the talismanic Kurt Gidley. He has proven to be a great foil for Chris Sandow at scrum-half thus far, but they will be missing Gidley when they face the Red Devils this week. Will Stefan Ratchford fill the considerable gap left by Gidley? Or will Gareth O’Brien show the Wolves what they could have kept hold of, perhaps?