New Zealand Warriors’ strange run of form continued last week with a convincing win over Brisbane Broncos, a victory that followed an awful showing against Penrith Panthers the previous week. Melbourne on the other hand made it six wins in a row as they edged past Manly.
Catalans have an 18-point start with the bookmakers ahead of this game, highlighting the difference in direction both teams have taken over the last three months. Catalans are unbeaten in seven of their last eight Super League games whilst Salford have won just one from their last nine.
This is a key clash for both of these teams as they sit in the bottom half of the South Group, and they need a win to really keep their t20 Blast hopes alive. Hampshire will have been boosted by the win over a struggling Middlesex side last night....
Both of these teams have the ability to be making the knockout rounds of this tournament, but Surrey will be under a fraction more pressure to get the win after winning two of their four matches so far. Form is good for both outfits and there is little to split between the teams so something like the availability of Adam Milne could be the differential against Kent.
Two defeats in a row has placed a bit of pressure on St George here with them needing to win to get back on track and keep some breathing space between themselves and those sides chasing the top 4. They travel to North Queensland to face a Cowboys team that are battling to avoid the wooden spoon.
Another tough match to call as both of these teams are floundering near the bottom of the South Group despite having big ambitions for this tournament. Hampshire have not got going since their Royal London One Day Cup win, while Middlesex have also been laboured and need Morgan, Stirling, Bravo and Agar to fire.
Essex have been under-par so far in the t20 Blast and the pressure and urgency is growing by the game at the moment. They are relatively average with the ball and will not be helped by the loss of Porter which virtually means Gloucester can play cautiously to Zampa but target the other bowlers.
After his great display last week, Robbie Farah will have a point to prove against his former employers as his Wests Tigers side take on league leaders South Sydney. The Rabbitohs have been superb so far this season and are now on a nine-game winning run that has seen them top the NRL ladder.
Newcastle will still believe that they can mount a late run towards the play-offs but in reality they have little to play for other than building towards next season. The same can be said of the Titans who look set to miss out on the play-offs once again.
Glamorgan will be buoyed by the arrival of Joe Burns which strengthens an already strong batting line-up, but they may be a little off the pace. As was the case with Middlesex last night, they have not played many matches so far and that may affect their rhythm so that is a cautionary note.
Durham are enjoying an excellent t20 Blast campaign to date having won 3 of their 5 matches so far and have pulled off some shock wins against the likes of the Outlaws and Bears. This will be another tough test for them, but they are boosted by the return of Ben Stokes.
The Steelbacks are struggling badly right now as they are without a win in five matches and are showing no signs of improvement. They were never in the match on Thursday against fellow strugglers Derbyshire and that does not bode well when coming up against a talented Bears team that need a win themselves.
Each club will face off against six of the other teams in the division twice (home and away), and the other two teams just once. Once these fixtures have been completed, the top four teams from each division advance to the knockout stages.
These two sides are coming off hugely disappointing defeats in midweek and there is pressure on them to bounce back here. The Outlaws arguably had complacency to blame for their loss, while the Foxes were not on their game against Lancs and both deservedly lost.