While it's great for Castleford to have gone and beaten Wigan on their own ground last night, the biggest news has come off the field this week, with Super League clubs voting through an expansion of the salary cap after a controversial and split decision went with the majority. While there are fears that this will only widen the gap between the top clubs and the rest of the game, the changes have been made with the right intensions: to retain talent, challenge the NRL and improve the national team.
Provisions have been made to help bring back talent from other sports, as well, so the likes of Kyle Eastmond, Joshua Charnley and Denny Solomona would have a far easier path back in to rugby league, with their wages exempt from salary cap consideration for two years following their reintegration to the sport. Time will only tell how much difference this will truly make to the game, but change in some form was needed - there's no way rugby league can claim to be a growing sport without actually attempting to grow every now and again.
Warrington Wolves vs Leeds Rhinos
Live on Sky Sports
Warrington have still yet to post a win this season, so despite coming back to draw against Hull at home last time out, they're still rooted in last place with only one point. They'll take heart from that performance, though - Hull have been one of the best sides in the competition this season, so clawing them back for a draw after trailing heavily at half time isn't nothing. Wire have desperately needed something to build on this season, and that point could be the catalyst.
Leeds, meanwhile, will know exactly how Warrington feel. In their shoes last season, stranded in the bottom four struggling for form and points, the Rhinos were hammered 52-18 in Cheshire, so there's little chance the West Yorkshire club will be taking mercy on the Wolves tonight. Club captain Danny McGuire will add to his collection of accolades by notching up his 400th Rhinos appearance tonight, and he'd like nothing more than to mark the occasion with a win - a result that would take Leeds back on to the same points as Castleford, having played a game more.
Warrington will have a renewed sense of confidence, but with key players still sidelined and Kevin Brown missing out as well, it's still not an ideal situation to be facing a team the size of Leeds in. While the Rhinos have injury worries of their own, they're in far better form, and have a settled spine to their team this season that they lacked in the previous campaign. The odds may have the Wolves as favourites for this one, but Leeds have more than enough about them to put an instant halt on any burgeoning Warrington resurgence.
Leeds Rhinos to beat Warrington Wolves @ 11/10
Hull FC vs Salford Red Devils
Only a point separates these two in the league, with Salford having played a game more than Hull to compensate for their early Challenge Cup entry. An all top four match, Hull had been in great form of late, but have themselves to blame for allowing basement club Warrington back in to draw in their last game out. Well in front by halftime, they relaxed a little bit too quickly, and were caught cold as a result. That draw has cost them second place in the league and a chance to draw level on points with Castleford tonight, so they'll want to put in a fitting response in front of their own fans.
It's been a few years since Salford were last tipped to gatecrash the top end of the division, but having curbed their spending and concentrated more on basics and building a competitive and committed squad, they're actually better off than they were attempting to bring in marquee names and superstars from overseas. Former player and local lad Ian Watson has done a fantastic job since being brought in as coach, and this more humble, back-to-basics approach at Salford has certainly been doing the trick of late.
As good as Salford have been, Hull will want to banish memories of last week by getting back on the right foot tonight at home. It should be a close one, but expect it to be the black and whites who pull through when it matters most.
Hull FC to beat Salford Red Devils by 1-12pts @ 2/1
Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Trinity
Until their win away against Leigh last time out, Widnes were in absolutely shocking form, getting beaten well every time they took the field. However, managing to have two half-backs on the field at the same time helped them create scoring opportunities again, and they'll be hoping they can carry that same form and ferocity over in to this round, as well. Quite possibly the leanest squad in the entire division, Widnes need everybody fit and firing to compete, with their home form vital in getting them as high up the league as possible.
Wakefield, meanwhile, couldn't be happier with life under Chris Chester, who's been excellent since being let go by Hull KR early last season. An exciting young coach with fantastic attacking principles, this Trinity side have really bought in to his ideals, and that's paying dividends. Have assembled a sturdy squad on a relatively small budget and wage bill, Wakefield can be extremely proud of how much they've progressed since their Million Pound Game scarce two years back.
Even though they got their first win last time out, Wakefield have too much about them to bet against in this sort of fixture. Chris Chester will know that another season in the top eight will only be possible if they beat the sides below them and, with Widnes having struggled like they have, this is one of those matches they'll have been targeting for some time.
Wakefield Trinity to beat Widnes Vikings by 1-12pts @ 21/10