In Super League round seven this weekend, there are plenty of things to look out for including St Helens' injury woe and a possible clean sweep for Huddersfield Giants.
St Helens' injury woes
St Helens and England hooker James Roby will be out for a lengthy period after sustaining an ankle injury and it looks like any hopes the Saints had of a title challenge will be in serious doubt because of it.
Saints have suffered horrendous injury troubles this season and a mix of old and young have been typically inconsistent as a result.
The superb debut of Mark Percival has been a bright point and the visit of Salford City Reds should not trouble a patched-up St Helens team.
However, suddenly the squad looks vulnerable and a win this weekend is vital if their slim title hopes are not to be derailed.
At least captain Paul Wellens could be fit for the match to give Saints some respite.
Salford City Reds
It is time for Salford City Reds to do the business on the pitch. Dr Marwan Koukash has been busy putting in bids for the likes of Sam Tomkins, courting top coach Brian Noble and complaining the salary cap should be scrapped in recent weeks.
He has also promised his team will challenge for the title within four years but to get people in the door today the team will have to perform.
A poor 4-46 reverse against a top class Warrington team will do little to get fans excited and a tough away tie to St Helens will do little to boost optimism.
Many fans will be sick of hearing Koukash's posturing. Everybody wants a competitive Super League and Salford's season needs to start being competitive this weekend.
Huddersfield clean sweep?
Huddersfield Giants have already beaten Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and Wigan Warriors this season and sit comfortably at the top of the league.
As confidence boosters go, beating Warrington Wolves to take the big four scalps is up there with the best of them and Giants have a big chance to do that this weekend.
Huddersfield have lost their last five games against title favourites Warrington and as much as they will protest a win means nothing at this early stage, Huddersfield will begin to believe they really are title contenders if they can beat Wolves.
This is a crucial point and if Giants can win they will be confident of going the distance. Lose and self-doubt will begin to creep in.
Wakefield Wildcats were thrashed 52-18 by St Helens last week and are on a run of three consecutive defeats.
This is not the time when a match against Leeds Rhinos is welcomed but at least Wakefield can welcome back Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore to the 19-man squad.
The two will provide more power to the line up and we may even see some fireworks after Poore was sent off for punching Leeds' Ryan Bailey in the last meeting between the sides.
Wakefield sit in a disappointing tenth place and Leeds are in an even-more-disappointing seventh. This one could be the game of the weekend.
Bradford Bulls face Catalan Dragons this weekend but their long term future has been under the microscope this week after the club announced it is confident its financial problems were behind it.
The club is on a probationary licence this year and hopes it will be allowed to remain in the Super League. Despite rivalries the Super League would be a worse place without the Bulls and one can only hope the situation will be sorted out before next season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Huddersfield Giants
- Salford City Reds
- Super League
- Leeds Rhinos