Talking points ahead of this weekend’s Super League action

Can Hull send out their strongest message yet?

There’s little doubting where the game of the weekend is in Super League. The scene is set for a thrilling night on Friday; at home, league leaders Castleford have looked nigh-on untouchable – but the side who have proven to be their one true Achilles heel so far this season come to town on Friday night. Victories in the league and cup have already suggested Hull are worthy contenders for the title – winning in Castleford’s own back yard would send out the clearest message to the doubters yet.

Are Leigh in the last-chance saloon for the top eight?

There’s no doubting that they are. Should results go against them this weekend, Leigh could become the first side to officially be confirmed for the Qualifiers: meaning a win in Perpignan on Saturday evening is non-negotiable. Neil Jukes’ side have shown on occasions this year they are capable of winning when it matters – this is their most important game yet in the race to avoid the ‘middle eight’.

Where will Peta Hiku fit into Warrington’s side?

The arrival of New Zealand utility Peta Hiku at Warrington is sure to provide the Wolves with some improvement in their fortunes – but the big question is, where does the versatile Hiku fit in? He will almost certainly make his debut against Wakefield on Saturday evening, but it will be interesting to see not only where Hiku plays in that game, but where he fits into Tony Smith’s plans long-term.

How will Jordan Rankin improve Huddersfield?

Hiku is not the only new signing from the NRL expected to debut this weekend. Jordan Rankin is officially a Huddersfield player – and while it is slightly easier to predict where he will play, given he should slot in at full-back, it will be fascinating to see how the former Hull FC man settles back into life as a Super League player. Can he help Huddersfield continue to climb the table with victory at Salford on Sunday?

Is Wigan’s season in danger of entering a real relegation scrap with defeat?

There’s every possibility that, come Sunday night, the reigning Super League champions could be within just a point of the bottom four and an incredible battle against relegation in the Qualifiers. If everything goes their way, that gap would be up to five and the top eight would be almost secured for Wigan, but it’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of Sunday’s clash against Widnes – who will be smelling blood after a decent run of form themselves.