RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) earmarks his standout Super League selection from Friday's fixtures.
St Helens v Hull FC | Friday 6th April 2018 19:45 | Sky Sports
St Helens had a near perfect Easter period beating Widnes 28 – 6 on Easter Monday which followed their first Good Friday victory over the Wigan Warriors since 2009.
That 21 – 18 win cemented the Saints place at the top of the league and the follow up win over the Vikings meant they go into week 10 of the Super League with a four point lead.
The Saints season – whilst seeing its fair share of scintillating attacking play – has been built on a solid defence. They have conceded an average of just 11.33 points per game, a stat which has been helped by the defensive efforts of their captain James Roby who this season has chipped in with a whopping 403 tackles personally – the 2nd highest in the league.
Hull come into this one after an equally impressive Easter period. They saw off local rivals Hull KR 30 – 22 on Good Friday – an especially impressive result given they played the majority of the game with 12 men after Bureta Faraimo early red card.
They backed that up with a tight 27 – 26 win over Wakefield Trinity and seem to have overcome their poor early season form – they lost four of their opening six games – to win their last three on the bounce.
Those wins have seen them jump up the table into 5th position and their fans will be hoping it continues and they cement their place in the top half of the Super Eights.Key to their return to form is the league’s leading try scorer Fetuli Talanoa. He now has 11 for the season and in Hulls three match unbeaten run he has scored a brace in each!
These sides met three times last season with Hull getting the better of the Saints on two of those occasions. St Helens did however win the last time these two sides met at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with this seasons in form centre Marc Percival picking up two tries in a 19 – 12 win.
In all the games last season, the winning margin was no greater that 10 points and the average total match points scored was just 27.6. This form points towards a game where defences will be on top and points will be at a premium – a trend I expect to continue this Friday.
As mentioned earlier, St Helens defensive record is mightily impressive, and Hulls is not to be shirked at – an average points conceded per game of 20.44.
Bet 188 have given Hull a 9.5 head start and in a contest that will be settled by only the finest margins, this looks to be fantastic value.
St Helens v Hull FC – Hull +9.5 handicap (10/11 188 Bet)