RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) highlights the value for Hull's Friday night clash with Leigh.
Hull FC v Leigh Centurions | Friday 20:00
After last week’s Magic Weekend, Super League returns to its usual format this weekend with the addition of an extra round of fixtures on Bank Holiday Monday. One of the most intriguing matches of Round 15 – given the difference in fortunes both sides faced in Newcastle – is at the KC Stadium were Hull entertain Leigh.
After a solid start to their debut Super League season, Leigh are currently on a nightmare run of form. Last weekend’s tight defeat to Salford was their eighth consecutive game without a win and whilst they have scored over 20 points in each of their last two games, defence has been their downfall, conceding 76 points in the same sample.
If Leigh’s defeat last weekend was described as a tight affair, Hull’s was as one-sided a contest as you are likely to see. Despite coming into the game on a three-match unbeaten run, they were thoroughly beaten 45-0 by St Helens in a confidence-sapping encounter.
Backlash to come?
Whilst losing to St Helens is no surprise – especially with the Saints having a new manager in attendance – the manner and magnitude of the defeat was alarming. Pre-Magic Weekend, Hull had beaten Widnes, Warrington and top of the table Castleford scoring an average of 27 points in the process.
Add that to the fact they have only conceded an average of 20 points all season, a thumping of this nature never seemed to be on the cards.
Leigh on the other hand are struggling. Performances such as the ones in early season wins over Warrington and St Helens whilst impressive, have been few and far between and last weekend’s 36-22 defeat to Salford is the seventh occasion in 13 games they have conceded 28+ points.
Add to that they will be missing off-season signing Adam Higson, who was sent off against Salford for a high tackle and subsequently banned for five matches. Hull will be a wounded, and a reaction is inevitable.
However, the injuries are starting to pile up. England international Scott Taylor, captain Gareth Ellis, top try scorer Mahe Fonua and top points scorer Marc Sneyd are all absent and that could stem any potential backlash.
The betting angles
Leigh, whilst on a poor run of form, have at least had the luxury of a settle side. Furthermore, they have rarely been blown away by the opposition this season and have lost only three games this season by more than 16 points.
It is this information that makes SkyBet’s offer of Leigh +18 at 10/11 look very good value.
The wing combination of Matty Dawson and Ben Crooks have been one of the few highlights for Leigh this season and last week both were on the scoresheet against Salford.
Between them they have contributed 20% of Leigh’s total tries and there’s a good chance the Centurions’ most potent attacking threat will come from this side.