The top four may be starting to establish a little cushion over the rest as Super League is put on the back burner for a weekend of Challenge Cup action, before returning for Magic Weekend a week later.
Castleford maintain their slender advantage at the top of the Super League ladder by a solitary point following their gutsy win at Huddersfield.
It may have been more had it not been for Hull’s comeback away to Widnes. Lee Radford’s side were trailing 22-0 to the league’s bottom club before mounting a comeback by scoring 33 unanswered points.
Salford are a further point back and made it seven wins from their last eight Super League games as they recorded their first win at Wigan since 1997, while Leeds bounced back from their disappointing home defeat to Huddersfield by finishing strongly to beat Catalans by six points in Perpignan.
Two points now cover the top four with Wigan a further three points back. Unsurprisingly Castleford maintain their favourites tag best priced 11/10 to finish top after 23 rounds.
Hull are now second favourites after their fourth consecutive win and are now best priced 7/2 (Ladbrokes/Coral) having been available at 5/1 last week.
Wigan have drifted to third favourites. There’s obviously a lot of faith in them to come through this injury crisis which threatens to derail their season and perform strongly overall and have gone from 5/2 last week to as long as 9/2 (SkyBet) this week.
Leeds come next. Their win in France means they keep in touch with the leaders – who they face at Magic Weekend in just under two weeks’ time – and are best priced 10/1 (Ladbrokes/Coral) meaning their price has just come in a notch.
Salford seem to be getting noticed both in the Grand Final market and now the regular season market. They are still best priced 18/1 (Ladbrokes/Coral) having been 25’s last week but both William Hill and SkyBet have cut shortened them to 10/1. Ian Watson’s side are seemingly being recognised as a force to be reckoned with this season.