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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Rhinos bouncing back from cup woes

But Wigan's Williams loves Leeds clashes

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott
1 of 1

Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 8pm Friday

Teams who experienced the ecstasy of a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final victory are up against sides who know the agony of last-four defeats as Betfred Super League champions Wigan travel to Leeds and Hull host Salford.

The Warriors and Airlie Birds will stage a repeat of the 2013 Wembley final later this month after Shaun Wane’s side ground down the Red Devils and Lee Radford’s team comprehensively defeated the Rhinos.

Since the cup final returned to Wembley in 2007, there have been four similar scenarios the week following the semi-finals with the winners and losers enjoying two victories apiece.

Leeds have twice backed up semi-final success with a league win while Warrington and Wigan have bounced back from defeat.

It’s difficult to know what to make of that stat but a line can certainly be put through the last clash between Wigan and Leeds a fortnight ago.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott was without 13 injured and rested first-team regulars and Wigan duly eased home 34-0.

The second-placed Rhinos' 26-18 home win over the Cherry and Whites at the end of March may be a better barometer and the hosts are taken to confirm that form at 10-11.

Leeds are likely to field a similar side to their semi-final line-up while the Warriors are without the suspended Sam Powell and injured Joel Tomkins, although Liam Farrell may return.

In the tryscorer markets, a chance is taken on Wigan stand-off George Williams continuing his great run against the Rhinos.

The England star has bagged a brace in the teams' last two meetings and is 5-2 to touch down against.

Hull are 4-11 to see off Salford at home and are asked to concede an eight-point handicap by the layers.

The absence of string-puller Marc Sneyd for the hosts and season-ending injuries to Red Devils forwards Mark Flanagan and Lama Tasi make this a tricky betting heat, while Huddersfield versus Wakefield also looks a real poser for punters.

Elsewhere, the Middle 8s kick off with the eight clubs competing for four places in next season’s Super League.

Warrington are 4-7 to finish top of the mini-league and 4-9 to beat neighbours Widnes for a ninth straight time.

Half of the previous eight Wolves wins have come by a margin in the teens which makes backing Tony Smith’s troops to get home by 11 to 20 to points at 3-1 a very appealing proposition.

2pts 10-11 Sky Bet
G Williams to score a try 
1pt 5-2 bet365
Warrington to win by 11-20 points 
2pts 3-1 Betway

The second-placed Rhinos' 26-18 home win over the Cherry and Whites at the end of March may be a better barometer and the hosts can confirm that form
E.W. Terms
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