It’s time for Super League Magic Weekend again, as the Greatest Game takes one of its showcases back to the Etihad stadium, the home of the Premier League Champions, Manchester City .
Every May, all the Super League teams meet to create a Magic weekend. The past couple of years, these matches have been held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, and with record crowds expected and the sun shining, we can be guaranteed 3 things: 1) Lots of entertainment; 2) Lots of points; 3) Controversy.
These are the ingredients for a great event and as per usual, I have an opinion on each and every match.
What tends to happen here is the overall average scores go up a notch as teams play in hot weather (for some it will be one of the first afternoon kick offs of the season). The event doesn’t feel like a normal league game and it gives some stars (e.g. Escare, Chase, Sammut) the chance to show off their undoubted skill set. So expect both teams to score lots of points.
Let’s look at each game played on Saturday 17th May 2014 in the order they will be played.
London v Catalans: This game is being touted as The One for London, as they look to take their steady improvement to a new level and record their first win of the season. I say No! Each year, they arrive early and get taken apart in the sun by the Catalans. Yes the French side are inconsistent, but this big pitch and heat plays to their strengths, take Catalans to win by more than the handicap.
Widnes v Salford: Perhaps the most intriguing game of the weekend. Do you believe in the Red Devolution or would you prefer to go with tradtion? That is the main point here. Big money has been poured in to Salford by Racehorse Owner Dr. Marwan Koukash, whereas Widnes have been built over the past few seasons slowly and more traditionally. I think this will be the day that Salford look to kick start their stuttering season and take them to win. Back Salford to win.
Hull v Hull KR: A really tough derby is always on the cards here. The last 2 years have seen the games go right down to the wire with a victory for either side being snatched from the jaws of defeat. I would think that Hull KR would be the more aggrieved of the 2 after last year’s controversy withHull FC being awarded a try that should never have been given. It is this that will drive them on. Of the 2 I just feel that KR will be more motivated and so I’m taking Hull KR to win.
Wigan v Leeds: Two genuine heavyweights of Super League bring down the curtain on the Saturday. The reigning champions, Wigan, take on the current League Leaders, Leeds. Wigan haven’t been as good this campaign as they were last year, whereas Leeds have been in their best form for seasons. The reasons for this are simple, Wigan have lost a host of stars over the last few seasons (this season they lost Sam Tomkins and Pat Richards) and their main player, Sean O’Loughlin rarely plays, whereas Leeds have had the same core (Peacock, Sinfield, Maguire and Burrows) for the past 200 years (or at least it feels like that) and now have a very potent back division and a mean defence. This adds up to a Leeds victory for me and handicap marks of -8 look very appealing. Back Leeds -8 on the handicap.
To recap all selections for Saturday 17th May:
Catalans – 18 with bet365 at Evens
Salford to win Outright with bet365 at 6/5
Hull KR to win Outright with bet365 at 8/11
Leeds -8 with bet365 at 10/11
I shall be back tomorrow to play up our winnings on the Sunday matches of Super League Magic Weekend. Enjoy the sun.