Can Warrington take advantage of a depleted Wigan side on Thursday?
It’s quite the injury list reigning Super League champions Wigan have racked up already – which makes it all the more impressive that they remain unbeaten thus far in 2017.
The likes of Sam Tomkins and Dom Manfredi have not yet touched a ball for Wigan, and Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney and Ryan Sutton all have joined that list following the win against Leigh. It means it will be a severely weakened Wigan side that takes to the field against winless Warrington on Thursday – so can the Wolves take advantage? If Wigan do win with so many international players sat on the sidelines, it will be a huge effort from Shaun Wane’s side – but we’ve grown accustomed to them producing their best when their backs are against the wall.
Will Todd Carney be able to squeeze into Salford’s in-form side?
A few years ago, the prospect of Todd Carney playing for Salford would have had Red Devils fans walking over broken glass to get him in their side. And while he remains a supreme talent and will give Salford a real spark when he does play, fitting him in might be a tougher ask than usual at the moment.
Robert Lui and Michael Dobson are excelling in the halves. Logan Tomkins and Kriss Brining look a great hooking duo – and don’t expect Gareth O’Brien to go anywhere. So when the Devils head to Wakefield on Sunday, will Ian Watson be able to squeeze the maverick Australian in?
Who will play in St Helens’ halves on Friday night?
It’s been far from an ideal start for St Helens – and Saints coach Keiron Cunningham faces a reshuffle of his side ahead of the trip to Hull on Friday night.
Young half-back Danny Richardson is left out, meaning that – from the looks of Cunningham’s 19 at least – it’s a straight shootout between Jon Wilkin and Tommy Lee to partner Theo Fages in the halves at the KCOM Stadium on Friday. Will it be the experience of Wilkin whom Cunningham opts for, or the former Salford captain Lee? It’s a decision which, in the context of St Helens’ opening month, could be a huge one.
Will Huddersfield continue to slide under the radar?
Much like Wigan’s start to the season, Huddersfield’s start to 2017 has been done with a significant injury list. The Giants were without a whole host of stars for last week’s defeat to Hull – adding some mitigation to the comprehensive loss – but Jermaine McGillvary and Ukuma Ta’ai return: with Leroy Cudjoe and Lee Gaskell also in the frame to return.
And should the Giants get over the line at Leigh on Friday night, it will mean Huddersfield will have six points from their opening ten. For a side tipped to be struggling at the wrong end of the table, that would not represent a bad start whatsoever for Rick Stone’s side.
Can the i-Pitch be the thing that stops Classy Cas?
Right now, it’s tough to imagine when Daryl Powell’s Castleford Tigers will come up short in a game of rugby league.
They were absolutely sensational during their 12-try rout of Leeds Rhinos last week, and this weekend, they head to Widnes on Sunday afternoon looking to make it four wins from four.
On the face of it, Castleford’s scintillating style of play should suit Widnes’ artificial pitch, the one which has attracted such criticism over the years. But Widnes are notoriously strong at home under Denis Betts: and they will quietly fancy an upset.