Can Warrington provide a calming pre-Wembley performance?
It’s fair to say Warrington were out-of-sorts last week, when they lost their opening Super 8s match against St Helens. This Sunday they have a chance to put that right though, and remain firmly in the hunt for the League Leader’s Shield when they face Wakefield. The Wildcats are massively low on numbers and Warrington will be heavy favourites – but can they deliver a performance to calm the nerves with Wembley a fortnight away?
Will one Super League side already be safe in the Qualifiers come Monday?
It’s widely assumed that five wins is the magic number to get you back into Super League via the Qualifiers this year – but on Friday night, one of the top-tier quartet will move to two wins from two, and look to be well on course for a Super League return. Leeds face Hull KR at Headingley knowing that the winner gets a significant cushion and goes a long way to securing top-flight status for 2017. Who will come out on top?
How Huddersfield cope with the pressure on Sunday
As the only Super League side to lose in the Qualifiers during last weekend’s opening round, it’s fair to assume there is a bit of pressure on Rick Stone’s men this weekend. They host West Yorkshire rivals Featherstone, with defeat an unfathomable prospect for the men from the John Smith’s Stadium. Lose that, and with games against Leeds and Hull KR still to come, you would think the Giants would have to win all their remaining fixtures to be assured of a Super League spot in 2017.
The battle to (probably) decide top spot in the Championship Shield
The Championship Shield could easily be overlooked with all the permutations and possibilities in the two tiers above – but this weekend sees arguably that competition’s two best teams do battle. Bradford host Halifax at Odsal, with top spot potentially the prize on offer. If Bradford win it would open up a serious gap between the two sides, but victory for Fax, and the battle for first is back on once again.
One of Toulouse’s toughest tests yet in League One
Life in the third tier has been somewhat of a breeze for Toulouse thus far, but this Sunday they face an almighty test with the pressure rising at the business end of the season. They face a trip to South Yorkshire to take on a Doncaster side also competing at the right end of the table and pushing for an instant return to the Championship. Can the Dons spring a surprise, or will Olympique pass another big test in their quest for promotion?