The longer this season goes on, the less and less on field matters appear to be making the headlines. With the match review panel under fresh scrutiny after Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin was only given a one match ban following a straight red card for a head high swinging arm, all is not well at the RFL.
Still searching for a new Super League general manager after Blake Solly departed for South Sydney, there's plenty to distract from what has been another exciting season. Wakefield and Widnes deserve immense credit for earning themselves a crack in the Super8s, while Hull FC look well set to shake off their 'sleeping giants' tag as front runners for their first league title since 1983.
Leeds Rhinos vs Wigan Warriors
Friday 15th July, 20:00
Live on SkySports
Last time out, Leeds finally put in a performance that reminded us why last season they went ahead and won the lot. Beating high flying Hull FC in their own back yard, Leeds defended better than they had all year, attacked the line with purpose, and finished off attacking moves with the sort of flourish and imagination that's abandoned them for much of the campaign to date. With the addition of James Segeyaro at hooker from NRL side Penrith and some big names retiring from injury, the Rhinos look well set for their Middle8s campaign.
Wigan, meanwhile, are suffering from their own injuries and suspensions. Not playing the most exciting brand of rugby in the world whilst still managing to win, this game might well be too much for them. Leeds are in better form and higher spirits, and with nothing to lose, the home side are playing with a freedom the top sides can't at this stage in the season.
It'll likely be a tight affair with the lead changing hands fairly often, but expect this newly rejuvenated Leeds side to kick on and complete the job when the time comes.
Recommended Bet: Leeds Rhinos to beat Wigan Warriors by 1-10pts @ 11/5
Huddersfield Giants vs St Helens
Sunday 17th July, 15:00
In rugby terms, there isn't an awful lot going for Huddersfield ahead of the Saints game this weekend. They have injuries, poor form, instability within the squad and a Middle8s campaign coming up that they don't look entirely prepared for. That said, having replaced Paul Anderson with Rick Stone and brought in Gene Ormsby from Warrington to strengthen their attack, the Giants might have a bounce in their step that wasn't there previously.
Saints, too, haven't quite had the season they'd have hoped for. With a mid-season wobble moving slowly behind them, they're the solid unit we've been used to over the years again, without being exceptional. Still within touching distance of the top four, Saints are well placed going in to the Super8s, and this win would help them keep pace with Catalan just above them.
This might not be the prettiest match of the round, and there's every chance it could come down to the final few minutes, but with the positive atmosphere a coach change can have, Huddersfield might just nick this one in front of their home crowd.
Recommended Bet: Huddersfield Giants to beat St Helens @ 23/20
Castleford Tigers vs Warrington Wolves
Sunday 17th July, 15:30
As far as exciting attacking rugby goes in Super League, these two could be the best in the division. With a similar ideology in attack, to go forwards fluidly with purpose, kicking intelligently, keeping the ball alive and using their outside backs to fly clear with the overlap, this may well be the match of the round.
Castleford are low on numbers, with only 13 of their 32-man squad available for training this week, so start the game at an obvious disadvantage. Playing at home in front of the always passionate crowd at the Jungle however, it's unlikely that the Tigers will just roll over and have their bellies tickled by Wire.
Warrington are the best attacking side in the league on their day, and while Cas may stick with them to start off, the longer the game carries on, the further ahead Warrington will likely creep. It shouldn't be a blowout, but the Wolves will put on the points should they get half an oppertunity. Back the away side to win, and to win well.
Recommended Bet: Warrington Wolves to beat Castleford Tigers by 11-20pts @ 13/5