Fiddes' Cent

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes expects no let ups in this week's Super League action

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 30/08/13 2:42pm

  • Share:
Lee Briers: Returns for Warrington after missing their surprise defeat to Widnes

Lee Briers: Returns for Warrington after missing their surprise defeat to Widnes

Sky Bet

In a week of sporting anti-climaxes, Rugby League followed suit with a dismal Tetley's Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

With only two tries and countless mistakes within the 80 minutes at the showpiece event, the spectacle became very underwhelming - mainly due to the conditions.

Add to that England's inevitable victory in the fifth Ashes test being cut short due to bad light and the much-anticipated Premier League game between Manchester United and Chelsea ending goalless, last week was one to forget as a sports fan.

With the top eight already confirmed last week, there is a hint that this weekend's Super League games could go the same way, however, some clubs still have plenty to play for given the finishing spot playing such a major part in the route to Old Trafford.

Warrington travel to St Helens; a local derby neither side will want to lose and, with Sky Bet starting the game at just -2 Warrington, the result could go either way.

Since the inception of Super League back in 1996, Warrington have struggled to beat their arch-rivals - winning just six times in 46 fixtures against the Saints - however, their fortunes have changed somewhat since Tony Smith took charge.

Four of their six wins have come in the last seven games between the two and, most recently, the Wolves ran out 48-22 winners at the Magic Weekend in May.

With such a small handicap, I'm backing the Wolves to take the spoils this weekend.

They were rocked by Widnes the week before the Challenge Cup final but, in all honesty, a lot of that was down to the conditions and Wolves' lack of a recognised half-back.

Head coach Smith does welcome back Lee Briers into his squad this week, however, and the veteran stand-off is favourite to claim Sky Sports' Man of the Match award at 9/1 - giving an indication into his impact on the side.

Despite only making 11 appearances for his club in 2013, Briers has assisted 12 tries, justifying his short odds for the Man of the Match accolade.

St Helens are the form team in Super League -winning their last five - yet three of those wins were against teams lying outside of the top eight.

Warrington can still finish this season top - although unlikely given Huddersfield's run-in - so expect them to come out firing and at 11/10 to win the game, you won't get a much better price on last year's Grand Finalists.

Daniel Holdsworth: Hoping to lead Hull FC to victory over Wigan for the first time in ten attempts

Cup hangover

It's a repeat of last weekend's Challenge Cup final also on Friday as Hull FC travel to the DW Stadium.

From his team selection, it seems that Shaun Wane has consolidated third spot in the table after their Cup success - however, Leeds may have something to say about that.

With no Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Pat Richards and Sean O'Loughlin in the squad to name but a few, the Airlie Birds will seriously fancy their chances this week.

Although Saturday's Challenge Cup success was the Warriors' ninth win in a row against Hull, their league form has been very patchy of late.

The Black and Whites are -6 on the handicap at 10/11 and, considering last year's table-toppers have won just two of their last seven games in Super League, that's a good bet.

Peter Gentle's men were narrowly beaten 28-20 back in Round 13 against Wigan but, on that day, they had star Tomkins in their ranks.

He scored two that day and has crossed eight times in his last five meetings with Hull so he will be a big loss as always.

With Daniel Holdsworth leading them around the park, the visiting side will be aiming to bounce back from Saturday's defeat and, if you are feeling ambitious, you can get 11/8 on Hull FC -10.5 in the Alternative Handicap market.

That, with Warrington -2 will work out at a nice 5/1 double.

View from the Sky Bet trading room...

"Both Warrington and Leeds have had their handicaps increased since the markets were released earlier in the week.

"Given Warrington's record at St Helens, amongst other factors, both teams started on scratch, however a bit of money for them has seen them move to -2.

"Leeds began at -10 but, after they included stars Danny McGuire, Ryan Bailey and Jamie Jones-Buchanan in their squad, they have been pushed to -12.

"Wigan's squad has meant that they are outsiders to take the spoils at home for the first time this season."

Senior Says...

"Leeds -12 - The Dragons have never won at Headingley and, with Leeds welcoming a few key players back, I don't see that record changing."

"Webb Anytime - This is the first time Brent Webb will be facing his former club and, having made a try scoring comeback a few weeks back, I can see him having a big game tonight."

  • Share: