Rugby league’s Super 8s returns after a 10-day break that saw Hull FC win the Challenge Cup at the ninth time of asking. They sealed a nail-biting 12-10 win over the in-form Warrington Wolves at.
<p>Rugby league’s Super 8s returns after a 10-day break that saw Hull FC win the Challenge Cup at the ninth time of asking. They sealed a nail-biting 12-10 win over the in-form Warrington Wolves at Wembley and claimed their first trophy in 11 years, following eight consecutive final defeats.</p><p>But Hull have their eyes on a bigger prize: victory in the Grand Final and a treble to match Leeds Rhinos’ achievement last year. Hull are top of the Super 8s table with just four games to play. If they hold onto top spot they will claim the League Leader’s Shield, which many see as the hardest trophy to win in rugby league as it is the result of a 30-game season that takes in 23 regular season games and seven Super 8s fixtures. The top four teams going into the playoff semi-finals, and the winners meet in the Grand Final. If Hull FC can do it, they will match the Rhinos’ amazing feat last year. But it will be brutally tough and the bookmakers only have them as third favourites to win the Grand Final, which is seen as the most prestigious trophy. Hull are best priced at 14/5 with Bet Stars to win it, but Warrington and Wigan are 9/4 joint favourites.</p><p>Hull may be tired after their exertions in the Challenge Cup and face a tough trip to St Helens in their next match. St Helens are looking like reaching the playoffs as the fourth placed team as they are four points ahead of fifth placed Catalans Dragons and four behind Wigan in third. But they still need to get points on the board and will give Hull a ferocious fight. The last three teams to win the Challenge Cup have gone on to lose their next Super 8s game, so history is stacked against Hull. St Helens lost to Wigan 25-0 last time out but before that they were on a seven-match winning run and should be able to capitalise on fatigue among the Hull players, which is probably why St Helens are odds-on favourites (<a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4834&book=Paddypower">1/3 with Paddy Power is the best price available</a>).</p><p>Second placed Warrington could also suffer a cup final hangover but they have far longer to recover as Hull are in action on Thursday whereas Warrington don’t play Catalans until Saturday. Catalans were thumped 44-0 by Hull last time out and Warrington should be able to beat them and could well leapfrog Hull at the top of the table in doing so. Catalans have lost eight of their last nine games and are in dire form, and Warrington have already beaten them twice this year. They should be fighting fit again by Saturday and can be backed at a <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4810&book=Bet365">massive 15/8 with Bet365</a> to win this one. A week ago the best price you could get on Warrington – and all that has happened since then is that they were very unlucky to lose a cup final to the table toppers – so that looks great value.</p><p>Third placed Wigan should batter seventh placed Widnes and the best odds you can get are 2/17 as Widnes have nothing left to play for and Wigan have everything. The final game sees Castleford take on Wakefield and it seems like a good one to avoid as neither has anything left to play for this season as they cannot mathematically make the playoffs.</p><p>The Qualifiers are also heating up after three games. The top three teams</p><p>earn a place in next season’s Super League, while fourth and fifth play off in the</p><p>Million Pound Game to earn the final Super League place. The Rhinos, who has a miserable regular season compared to 2015, are top with three wins out of three ahead of Leigh Centurions, who also have a 100% record. It looks like developing into a straight fight between Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants for fourth. Leeds Rhinos look good at 2/7 to make it four on the bounce at home to Salford, and that appears to be the best bet in The Qualifiers in this round of fixtures.</p><p> </p>