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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Wigan may struggle to keep Tigers at bay in Super 8s opener

Catalans can oblige for backers in Challenge Cup final dress rehearsal

Adam Milner of Castleford offloads the ball
1 of 1

Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Friday

There’s sure to be a buoyant mood around the DW Stadium after Wigan confirmed on Wednesday that club legend Shaun Edwards will take over as head coach from 2020, with former scrum-half Adrian Lam taking interim charge next year.

However, the Warriors kick off their Super 8s campaign against Castleford on Friday and are 8-13 to claim a win that would keep them in second spot behind bitter rivals St Helens.

Saints, Racing Post Sport’s pre-season pick to win the Betfred Super League title, look almost certain to finish top of the pile and are 11-10 favourites for Grand Final glory.

Saints, Cas, Wigan and Warrington should contest the semi-finals with Huddersfield, Hull, Wakefield and Catalans appearing to have too much ground to make up to gatecrash the top four.

The Warriors have lost only once at home all year and defeated the Tigers 28-12 at the DW Stadium, in April but this is likely to be a closer contest.

Taulima Tautai begins a suspension while Chris Hankinson joins a lengthy injury list containing the likes of Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Oliver Gildart and Joe Burgess.

George Williams and Ryan Sutton return from knee problems but Cas look the call with a six-point start on the handicap.

Elsewhere on a busy night, Warrington host Catalans in a dress rehearsal for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final.

The Dragons have rewarded handicap backers in their last 13 matches and can do so again even without star Aussie scrum-half Josh Drinkwater.

A 12-point buffer looks handy considering the sides drew 22-22 when they met at the Halliwell Jones last month.

Three weeks ago, Wakefield annihilated Hull 72-10 at Belle Vue and Trinity are 11-8 to uphold the form at the KCom Stadium with the Airlie Birds 8-11 to make amends for that horror show.

Hull have lost four on the trot and it’s questionable whether they have a backlash in them so this looks a no-bet game.

So does Saints’ home clash with Huddersfield. The league leaders, who were stunned in their cup semi-final by Catalans, are asked to concede a ten-point start to the in-form Giants.

In the Qualifiers, Hull KR have lost only one of their last six games
and can successfully concede a six-point start to a Salford side who haven’t won on the road since April and were hammered 52-22 on their last trip to Craven Park.

Castleford +6
3pts Evs Betway
Catalans +12
2pts 10-11 general
Hull KR -6
2pts 10-11 general

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Huddersfield, Hull, Wakefield and Catalans appear to have too much ground to make up to gatecrash the top four
E.W. Terms
Sky bet