RUGBY LEAGUE expert Kaine Greenwood (@KaineG23) has bagged back-to-back winning Super League NAPs to start the new season. He’s back for more on Friday night.
Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils | Friday 20:00
Leeds made a real scrap of a game that they took control of after an early wobble at Leigh and only managed to secure victory by three points (below the offered the line) – it was the second straight game in which their attacking structure didn’t click.
Still, they enter this game as a favourites as short as 1/4 on the match betting market; presumably due to the fact they have lost just twice to the their opponents in the Super League era but that really isn’t something we can get interested in.
Based on both of Salford’s second-half performances in ’17 however – keeping Wigan scoreless while putting 16 on the scoreboard along with scoring 20 versus Huddersfield – it suggests the home side will have to start the game strong to maintain that record.
The betting angles
With such second period displays, along with fact Brian McDermott’s side have yet to win both halves of a game, the 10/11 with Paddy Power on Salford winning either half is something I almost put up and is certainly not anything I would put anyone off.
There is another angle in this game that I believe represents a better opportunity, though.
Ian Watson’s side are without suspended winger Justin Carney and new recruit Todd Carney is not ready to make his bow so it will be left to Robert Lui, Gareth O’Brien and the selection for this week, Junior Sa’u, to produce the Greater Manchester outfit’s X-Factor.
Junior can make his mark
The New Zealand-born number four was an immediate hit with the Reds faithful in his debut season providing just that spark as he collected the Player of the Year award with 12 tries and eight assists to his name.
While 2015 wasn’t as productive in a 17-game campaign for the centre, Sa’u was the third-highest scoring centre in Super League last year with a tally of 13 and again topped the tryscoring charts for his club.
He is one of their main threats as a big carrier and metre-maker so could be asked to increase his load here being the more experienced inside support for a covering Jake Bibby.
The Rhinos conceded to the left centre of opposition sides in 11 of their 23 first-stage Super League games in 2016 and 8/23 (nine tries) in 2015.
Sa’u is one of the most explosive and strong centres in the competition and has started the season with the kind of bang that suggests as much, scoring in both of the Reds Devils’ matches.
As we saw with last week’s NAP (Leigh’s left winger Matty Dawson) Leeds’ defence still has some issues on that side of the field and I am fully committed to the belief that the visitors could benefit from this with a bit of ‘Hot Sauce’ magic producing a four-point score.
SkyBet make this a 2/1 chance. I say: if we want to triple our money, this is Sa’u we do it!
Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils – Junior Sa’u anytime tryscorer (2/1 SkyBet)