Hull KR look overpriced to make successful trans-Atlantic raid
Salford set to pile more pain on Widnes
Salford v Widnes
Sky Arena, 3.15pm Saturday
Catalans v Wigan
Sky Arena, 5.15pm Saturday
Toronto v Hull KR
Sky Arena, 7.30pm Saturday
Rugby league’s brave new world meets its traditional heartlands tonight as Toronto Wolfpack clash with Hull KR in the Betfred Super League Qualifiers.
The Canadian club’s transatlantic adventure began only last year but now they’re on the cusp of a place among the sport’s elite.
Promotion from League One was followed by a table-topping season in the Championship this year. Now they aim to be one of four teams promoted to the 2019 top flight from the eight-team mini league.
Paul Rowley’s team have lost only once in two seasons at Lamport Stadium and are 8-11 to follow their win at Halifax with another victory.
Rovers lost at home to Salford last weekend and can ill-afford another defeat otherwise a return to the Championship will loom large especially as their next fixture is at Leeds.
Coach Tim Sheens is without Australian stars Todd Carney and Maurice Blair but even so it’s still a surprise to see Super League’s tenth-ranked team quoted at 6-4 for this assignment.
The game looks more even than that and KR should be backed to return with two priceless points.
Widnes’s seven-season stay in Super League looks set to come to an end in the next few weeks.
The Vikings' loss at home to London was their 17th on the spin in the league and it’s 1-3 that the dismal run continues at Salford.
The Red Devils were Widnes’s last league victims in March but since then Salford have defeated the cellar-dwellers 26-12 at the AJ Bell.
A similar winning margin seems likely today. It’s 13-5 that the hosts oblige by 11-20 points.
In the Super 8s, Wigan are 4-7 to make it a hat-trick over Catalans in 2018.
Shaun Wane’s side scrambled home 25-20 against 12 men at the DW Stadium last month and amazingly scored four tries in the final 15 minutes to overturn a 21-point deficit and win 32-23 in France in April.
That was the last time the Dragons lost at the Stade Gilbert Brutus and although their appearance in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final is only a week away, coach Steve McNamara has named a strong squad.
All the players rested for last weekend’s hammering at Warrington are recalled including Josh Drinkwater, Kenny Edwards and ex-Wigan duo Michael McIlorum and Lewis Tierney.
Back the Dragons to stay within a converted try on the handicap.
2pts 6-4 bet365, Betway
Salford to win by 11-20 points
1pt 13-5 Ladbrokes, Coral
3pts Evs Betfred
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