Super League moves to St Helens in Round Two, in what will be the final round of matches to take place on a neutral ground.
It means rugby stays in its traditional Easter weekend slot, but it will not be the same games you expect to see every year at this time. No Saints/Wigan derby and no Hull derby, amongst others.
However, the round will become Mose Masoe round, where virtual tickets are being sold and money will be raised for the former Saints and Hull KR forward.
Wigan Warriors vs. Wakefield Trinity (6pm)– Both sides come into the match, having been on both sides of a close game. Wigan managed to win theirs against Leigh Centurions, while Wakefield missed out in the end against Leeds Rhinos. Both teams have reason to be positive after the first round. However, Wigan’s injury problems are not going away, particularly with the news that Jai Field is out for five months with a torn hamstring. It leaves them with another dilemma over who to put on the wing, with Liam Marshall still a long-term absentee, and Dom Manfredi still a few weeks away. Whoever does play on the wing will have a job dealing with Tom Johnstone, who showed his class with two long range tries against the Rhinos. All-in-all it was a good performance from Wakefield, but they just fell short.
This is a tricky one to predict. I have a feeling it will be high scoring, both teams have players that can cause problems. I think Wigan will just pinch it again.
Prediction: Wigan by 4.
Hull KR vs. St Helens (8.15pm)– Two of Masoe’s former clubs go head-to-head to round off Thursday night. Hull KR could consider themselves seriously unlucky not to come away with anything, after coming from 28-4 down to force Golden Point Extra Time. Pre 2019, this would have been enough to earn a point, but such is the way of Golden Point, because Catalans came up with a drop-goal, they left Headingley with nothing. The team will certainly be fired up to put that right against the champions. They have a new threat this year, in the form of winger Ryan Hall, who picked up where he left off in the Super League with a hat-trick. Saints started well themselves against Salford Red Devils, and came through a potentially difficult match relatively unscathed. The only blots were injuries picked up Agnatius Paasi and Mark Percival, which rule them out of this week. However, they could welcome back Lachlan Coote, which will be a big boost.
I can see another high scorer, potentially another one that could go all the way. Hull KR gave Saints a real fright last year, and I think they could do the same again.
Prediction: Saints by 2.
Warrington Wolves vs. Leigh Centurions (12.45pm)– Both sides will be looking to get their seasons up and running. Warrington were left disappointed with their performance against Castleford Tigers, while Leigh let an 18-0 lead slip against Wigan Warriors. The two have already met in pre-season, with Warrington coming out 34-12 winners at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Whilst pre-season may not be the best guide, with sides more likely to experiment, but considering it was only few weeks ago, more could be made of it. However, with both sides in competitve action now, we are likely to see a different side to them. Leigh will be bouncing, despite not getting the result against Wigan, with the way they started that match. Warrington meanwhile will be keen to put last week’s performance behind them.
I can see it being a real battle, particularly in the forwards. On paper though, Warrington do have the stronger squad and they may just take this one.
Prediction: Warrington by 4.
Leeds Rhinos vs. Castleford Tigers (3pm)– Two teams with perfect starts to the season to head-to-head to round off Day Two. Leeds were victorious in a backwards and forwards match against Wakefield Trinity, while Castleford comfortably beat Warrington in the final game of the round. The Tigers will have been particularly impressed with how Niall Evalds and Jordan Turner fared on their debuts. Leeds meanwhile played well in patches against Wakefield, and in those patches they showed real quality, but also had patches which allowed Wakefield back into the game.
This will be another close one, between two West Yorkshire rivals, but I think Castleford may just come out on top.
Prediction: Castleford by 4.
Salford Red Devils vs. Hull FC (12.15pm)– Salford are looking to bounce back after defeat to St Helens, while Hull are hoping to improve on their winning start against Huddersfield. Hull put in a pretty good performance against Huddersfield, while Salford also did against Saints, perhaps the final scoreline was a little unfair on them, it was a couple of errors that killed them. I would certainly expect them to be better in that regard on Saturday. Last year, Salford twice beat Hull, as the two tried to get into the playoffs, with the Black and Whites eventually doing that.
Both sides certainly love to play, but I think Hull may just edge this one.
Prediction: Hull by 6.
Huddersfield Giants vs. Catalans Dragons (2.30pm)– Huddersfield definitely have a point to prove after a disappointing showing against Hull last week. Meanwhile, Catalans had a game of two halves against Hull KR; brilliant in the first 40, but allowed Hull KR back into the game in the second. Huddersfield were dealt the blow of Ricky Leutele breaking his hand during the game, but they will have a capable replacement in Jake Wardle.
This one will depend ultimately on which Catalans turn up. On their day, they can beat anyone, but if they are not on their game, then they can be beaten.
Predictions: Huddersfield by 10.