Is Castleford v Wakefield the real game of the weekend?
Wigan and St Helens fans won’t like to hear it – but is the most intriguing game of Good Friday, for once at least, not between those two great rivals? It’s hard to remember a Castleford v Wakefield derby where both sides were in such good form – the question had Chris Chester trying to recall his own memories watching on the terraces as a youngster to think of one, ultimately without success. Cas and Wakey aren’t just both winning; they’re playing brilliant rugby in the process. It has all the hallmarks of a cracker.
Will Albert Kelly transform Hull’s fortunes again?
He was visibly missed last week when Hull were hammered by Salford: so is Albert Kelly set to instantly revive Hull’s fortunes on Good Friday? Kelly returns from a spell away on compassionate leave to play in their Yorkshire derby against Leeds, a game which takes on extra significance following last Friday’s loss to the Red Devils. He’s been their standout player thus far in 2017: expect him to deliver on Friday afternoon.
Can Leigh post enough points without Josh Drinkwater?
The one name sorely missing from the team-sheet at the moment for Leigh fans is Aussie half-back Josh Drinkwater. The former London man’s injury against Wakefield is proving to be a real difficult blow for the Centurions to contend with – and him being missing again for the trip to Salford is far from ideal. In his absence, can the Centurions rack up enough points to trouble a free-scoring Red Devils outfit?
Will Wigan’s returning stars prove to be the difference?
The roll call of returning names for Wigan on Good Friday is encouraging for Warriors fans to say the least. Anthony Gelling, Joe Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin all come back – but the headline is Michael McIlorum’s likely inclusion in the side after over a year out injured. Those quartet will hand Shaun Wane a massive boost at a time when fresh bodies are at their most important – the testing Easter period.
How much can Saints’ new coaching team change in a few days?
Jamahl Lolesi mentioned himself this week that it will be difficult to change too much in a few days after Keiron Cunningham’s sacking – but just what can he, Sean Long and Derek Traynor do between now and kick-off at Wigan on Good Friday? Long having a greater emphasis on the Saints’ attacking preparation should help, and with a fully-fit squad with the exception of one or two, you suspect Saints fans will not stand for any excuses should they lose the first derby of 2017.