Phil Spink sees a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for Widnes Vikings while an old enemy could trouble the runaway league leaders St Helens again at Headingley...
"Ash Handley has scored ten tries in six matches against tonight's opponents, including two in the March fixture..."
Salford clash could offer hope for beleaguered Widnes
Salford Red Devils vs Widnes Vikings
Thursday 14 June, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Action
It was strongly hinted by new Super League CEO Robert Elstone this week that the Super 8s format for promotion and relegation could be used for the final time this season. Two teams who look set to be involved clash on Thursday evening as Salford Red Devils host Widnes Vikings.
Neither team can buy a win at the moment, with bottom-side Widnes sinking to a ninth straight defeat at Catalans last week having been 10-0 up, while Salford's 45-14 battering against Hull was their sixth loss in a row in all competitions. There is added spice to this game with three players involved in a recent swap deal potentially set to line up against their parent clubs, Weller Hauraki for Widnes and Ed Chamberlain and Greg Burke for Salford.
A win for Widnes would leave them just two points behind their rivals with a game in hand and following an encouraging first-half display in France they look worth backing with a six-point start.
None of the Vikings players will be featuring when the top try-scorer award is handed out at the end of the season but one who has been among the points again is young second rower Matt Whitley, who has crossed the line on seven occasions in league and cup and has opened the scoring twice. Have a punt on him adding to his impressive record.
Handley to strike again against the league leaders
Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens
Friday 15 June, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports Action
A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the last time these two sides met on Merseyside in Round 6. The Rhinos, triumphant 28-20 on that occasion, have won just twice in the league since, while their opponents have simply been ruthless, losing just once more in the meantime and looking well on course to emulate their 2006 treble having opened up a six-point lead at the top of the table.
St Helens have Jonny Lomax back and are pretty much at full strength. Leeds can recall Joel Moon and Anthony Mullally but are still without a number of their first-teamers and the loss of Richie Myler, the leading player for assists this year in front of Ben Barba, and missing his first game for Leeds, is a particularly big blow.
Leeds good recent record against Saints offers hope for those backing them with an eight-start on the handicap but a better bet looks to be their top try-scorer Ash Handley to strike again. The winger-turned-centre, who recently signed a new three-year contract after an impressive run of form, has scored ten tries in six matches against tonight's opponents, including two in the March fixture.
Super League 2018 P/L
Staked 73 pts
Returned 51.9 pts
P/L -21.1 pts