Phil Spink previews the televised Round 12 games and can see Leeds and Castleford continuing their good records against their opponents...
"the value could lie with the Tigers to make it five wins in a row against their hosts."
Leeds to make it twelve Super League wins in a row against Hull
Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos
Thursday 19th April, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
A wounded Leeds can continue their good record against Hull in Thursday's game at the KCOM Stadium.
The Rhinos, seeking a third straight win, did everything right to keep Wigan at bay for seventy minutes last week, leading 8-0 before "sticking their heads up their backsides" in the words of coach Brian McDermott and going down 9-8 after a sensational drop goal from Sam Tomkins.
Super League's longest-serving player Jamie Jones-Buchanan is set to make his 400th appearance and his teammates have a massive incentive to make the veteran's special night a winning one on the back of that smash-and-grab.
Hull are just a place below Leeds in the table having played a game more but arrive on the back of a dominating 39-20 success over a depleted Widnes. That was their fourth win in five games, although three of those have come against sides rooted in the bottom four. Forwards Mark Minichiello, Sika Manu and Dean Hadley are all back in Lee Radford's squad.
Leeds fans will still wince at the memory of last summer's 43-24 defeat to the Black and Whites in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final at Doncaster, but that is the Rhinos' only loss in this fixture since September 2014 and they must be the call. They've won by more than a dozen points only once in the last seven league meetings, and the majority of their matches this season have been closely-fought. That makes the 5/2 for a Leeds victory under 13 very appealing.
Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers
Friday 20th April, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Improving Tigers can pounce again
Improving Castleford Tigers are taken to end Wigan's unbeaten home record in Friday's game.
The Tigers have played just nine games, but since their opening-day hammering at St Helens only Warrington have come out on top against them. They have found some of last season's swagger again, putting 81 points past the two bottom sides in recent weeks. Young Jake Trueman has been gaining the plaudits in his new full-back role and has happy memories of his first visit to the DW Stadium having scored a hat-trick on his full debut in a 38-20 win in September. He's shaping up to be a perfect replacement for Zak Hardaker and at 9/4 is backed to continue his fine form and add to his tally against the Warriors.
Wigan pulled off another famous comeback against Leeds last week and have their sights set on top spot having also suffered just two defeats. They are unbeaten at home, but similar comments apply to them as for Hull above in that they've been doing all their winning at the DW Stadium against sides battling to avoid the Qualifiers. This is the first time they've hosted a team who will surely be bang there with them at the business end of the season.
Neither side have reported any major injury worries from last week's squads, and in what should be a cracker the value could lie with the Tigers to make it five wins in a row against their hosts.