Desperate Catalans fired-up to push Hull close
Relegation fears haunt Dragons
Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 5pm Saturday
For the second season in a row, Catalans' Betfred Super League status is in jeopardy and with a dozen regular-season games left, the Dragons are six points adrift of the sanctuary of the top eight.
Lying bottom of the table, Dragons are desperate for a win and are 9-4 to get one at home to Hull, who are asked to concede a ten-point start on the handicap.
The Airlie Birds have had an up-and-down season but have won five of their last six games.
That run includes a 42-16 thrashing of Saturday's opponents at the KCom Stadium a month ago but things could well be different on the continent.
Hull have won on only one of their last seven cross-Channel jaunts. Last year they were beaten 23-18 in a bad-tempered clash in which two Catalans players were sin-binned and Hull’s Liam Watts was sent off by referee James Child.
Arbiter Child is the man in the middle again and is 9-1 to brandish the expulsion tool once more.
The visitors’ preparations have been disrupted by off-field allegations of bad behaviour by scrum-half Albert Kelly. The Australian has still been named in the squad and is 6-4 to touch down at any time.
Catalans are set to give a debut to former Leigh and London half-back Josh Drinkwater, signed to replace Luke Walsh who has been forced into early retirement by a persistent ankle problem.
The Dragons' only two Super League wins this season have come at home against fellow strugglers Hull KR and Huddersfield but Steve McNamara’s men ought to have beaten Wigan in their last outing at the Stade Gilbert Brutus when they contrived to squander a 21-point lead.
A repeat of their level of performance in the first half of that game would certainly be enough to rattle Hull’s cage.
A third win of the campaign may elude the hosts but the desperate Dragons should be capable of putting up a fight to stay within the double-digit handicap.
2pts 10-11 Sky Bet
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