Demon Barba can help St Helens take a snip out of Hull
Totally Wicked clash could be close
Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Friday
St Helens and Hull enjoyed the perfect Easter in the Betfred Super League with both clubs navigating the brutal programme to emerge with two wins out of two.
Warrington were the only other club to manage that feat and now Saints and the Black & Whites play their third game in a week with the regular season fast approaching its midway point.
The two coaches took different approaches to the Easter double header.
Saints boss Justin Holbrook kept his big guns firing with only stand-off Jonny Lomax rested for the second game at Widnes whereas Hull counterpart Lee Radford gave several top players the afternoon off against Wakefield.
Danny Houghton, Carlos Tuimavave, Jamie Shaul and Sika Manu are all expected to return refreshed while the Saints stars play three games in quick succession.
Backers of the visitors at 11-4 can point to Hull’s excellent recent record at the Totally Wicked Stadium where they’ve won on five of their last seven trips but their road record this season is poor.
The Airlie Bird’s only victory on their travels in 2018 came at neighbours Hull KR on Good Friday.
On the same afternoon, St Helens were edging out Wigan and they backed up with a comprehensive win at Widnes to move four points clear at the Super League summit.
Saints are 4-11 to extend that advantage to six points and are asked to give up eight points on the handicap.
That’s an interesting conundrum for punters and all things considered the best bet may be to back the hosts to get home by 12 points or fewer at 2-1.
Hull’s away games at big hitters Leeds and Castleford ended in losses by four and ten points.
There’s an interesting sideshow with Super League’s top two tryscorers in action.
Hull’s Fetuli Talanoa tops the charts with 11 touchdowns with Saints full-back Ben Barba just one behind.
Talanoa is 15-8 to add to his tally and 16-1 to bag the opener while Barba is 5-6 to notch for the fifth home game running and 8-1 to start the tryscoring.
The Australian superstar has been the outstanding player of this season's Super League and is 5-1 to be named man of the match.
The 'Demon Barba' has won the individual honours three times in five televised games and looks great value to do so again.
St Helens to win by one to 12 points
2pts 2-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
B Barba man of the match
1pt 5-1 Betway
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