14th April 2021, 08:56 | super_league
Following a break for the Betfred Challenge Cup, the Betfred Super League returns this weekend with six compelling fixtures beginning with eight-time champions Leeds Rhinos kicking proceedings off against five-time champions Wigan Warriors on Thursday evening.
The Rhinos’ defence of their Betfred Challenge Cup was halted at the first hurdle last weekend as they fell to a 26-18 defeat against St Helens. Richard Agar’s side looked to mount a late comeback thanks to a Brad Dwyer double, but a late Tommy Makinson effort sealed their fate.
Thursday evening could see a Leeds debut for dual-code England international Kyle Eastmond. The 31-year-old arrived at the Emerald Headingley Stadium last month after nine years away from Rugby League, having previously represented St Helens between 2007 and 2011.
However, Leeds will be without Zane Tetevano who was handed a four-game suspension after being sent from the field in last week’s Cup defeat as well as ten other first team players due to injury, including the likes of Konrad Hurrell, Luke Gale and Richie Myler.
Wigan progressed in the Betfred Challenge Cup with a 0-26 victory over Championship outfit York City Knights, maintaining their perfect start to the 2021 season with three wins from three fixtures.
Adrian Lam’s side are set to welcome back mercurial fullback Bevan French after the Australian missed the opening two rounds of this year’s Betfred Super League. Sam Halsall and Umyla Hanley – who both scored their first professional tries in the Cup victory – are both named in Lam’s 21-player squad.
Leigh Centurions are still in search of their first victory of the season and face an unbeaten Castleford Tigers side on Friday evening. The Centurions fell to Huddersfield last week in the Betfred Challenge Cup while Castleford edged out Hull Kingston Rovers in a remarkable tie which needed four periods of extra-time to separate the sides.
St Helens are looking to continue their perfect start to the season against a winless Wakefield Trinity outfit. Chris Chester’s men ran Leeds close in Round One but fell to a heavy 34-6 loss to Wigan a fortnight ago. As for the Saints, they have conceded just one try in their first two Betfred Super League outings.
Friday’s triple-bill culminates with Hull Kingston Rovers and Huddersfield Giants, live on Sky Sports Arena. Both clubs are looking to earn their first points of the season after two defeats in the first two rounds of the Betfred Super League. Ian Watson’s side do come into the fixture on the back of a 18-36 Cup defeat of Leigh, in which England winger Jermaine McGillvary notched a hat-trick.
Catalans Dragons return to the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday evening – live on Sky Sports Arena - welcoming the visit of 2019 Grand Finalists Salford Red Devils. Steve McNamara’s side have enjoyed an impressive start to the season defeating Hull KR and Huddersfield before dispatching of Wakefield in last week’s Cup tie. While winless in the Betfred Super League, Richard Marshall claimed his first win as Salford boss last week with a one-sided display against Widnes Vikings.
Round Three comes to a close on Sunday afternoon with Hull FC meeting Warrington Wolves. The Airlie Birds have looked strong under the new stewardship of former Steve Prescott Man of Steel Brett Hodgson while Warrington head into the game on the back of consecutive victories in league and Cup.
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors – 7:45pm – Live on Main Event & Arena
Castleford Tigers v Leigh Centurions – 6pm – Live on Our League
St Helens v Wakefield Trinity – 6pm – Live on Our League
Hull Kingston Rovers v Huddersfield Giants – 7:45pm – Live on Sky Sports Arena
Catalans Dragons v Salford Red Devils – 6pm – Live on Sky Sports Arena
Hull FC v Warrington Wolves – 3pm – Live on Our League