Hull and Catalans come head-to-head with both teams in desperate need of a win. The home side need that win more having lost their last nine whilst the Dragons have lost six in a row in the league. It’s been a season to forget for Hull and they will want to break their losing sequence before it is out.
St Helens finally secured the League Leaders’ Shield last week but won’t have been celebrating too much with the bigger prize of the Grand Final still to play for. Saints will host either their opponents in this game, Warrington, or Castleford in the semi-final.
Castleford look set to miss out on a home semi-final but have continued to keep the pressure on Wigan with four straight wins. They have looked impressive recently and will want to keep that run of form going as they host local rivals Wakefield.
Wigan can clinch second place with a win here with all eyes likely to be on the Warriors as they continue to build towards the Grand Final. They are hitting form at just the right time and have won their last six matches as they shape as key contenders to lift the Super League crown.
The best defence in the NRL faces the best attack in the NRL as the second spot in the Grand Final will be taken by one of these two bitter rivals. Sydney Roosters host South Sydney Rabbitohs in a blockbuster contest with both teams desperate to get one over their most hated adversaries.
The first Preliminary final sees Melbourne host Cronulla with the Storm hoping to return to the Grand Final for a third straight season. These two teams met in the 2016 Grand Final when Cronulla were victorious, lifting their first Premiership in the process.
Catalans will still be licking their wounds after a defeat at home to St Helens last week, one which felt very unjustified to the French club. They will be looking to bounce back here but are missing several key players which can play into the hands of Wakefield who are looking to go into fifth place.
Wigan can edge closer to securing second place with a win here over Warrington and crucially, a home semi-final. The Warriors have only lost once on home soil this season with the benefit of claiming that second spot evident. Warrington will travel without their starting props which could prove to be problematic.
St Helens can claim the League Leaders’ Shield if they avoid defeat at home to Hull but Saints should be able take that crown in style. The visitors will arrive on a run of eight straight defeats and after suffering even more injuries during the week, Saints can capitalise.
Castleford can apply some further pressure on Wigan in the race for second place if they can win their fourth straight game when they host Huddersfield on Thursday. The Giants can’t make the play-offs after consecutive losses but didn’t throw the towel in last week and should be game again here.
St George produced the shock of the weekend in the first week of the finals as they hammered Brisbane at Suncorp. Not many gave the Dragons a chance after a poor end to the season but they turned up when it mattered and even overcame the loss of key players during the game. James Graham, Jack De Belin and Gareth Widdop were all injured with the latter the only one ruled out so far this week.
Cronulla must overcome the loss of Wade Graham if they are to progress to the preliminary finals next week. The co-captain suffered an ACL injury last week during their loss to the Roosters with Penrith next in store. The Panthers were impressive last week as they defeated New Zealand Warriors and will be hoping for a repeat performance.
Many have already written off St George after a poor end to the season and now they have to travel to Brisbane in order to progress to the second week of the finals. They are boosted by the return of captain Gareth Widdop but that may not be enough to overcome a stubborn Brisbane team.
Catalans welcome league leaders St Helens to the Stade Gilbert Brutus with the home side looking to end their season on a high after four straight league losses. They face an out-of-sorts St Helens side that are still yet to claim the League Leaders’ Shield.