Harris seeks to close gap on Wildcats
The picture at both the top and bottom of Engage Super League could become clearer after tonight, when the regular season reaches the halfway point.
Leaders Warrington Wolves, one of four teams in a log jam at the summit, seek to strengthen their position with victory at home to fifth-placed Castleford Tigers, while the outcome of the basement battle between Crusaders RL and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats could go a long way to determining the destination of the wooden spoon.
A Wakefield victory at the Racecourse Ground would leave the Welsh club six points adrift going into the second half of the season and Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris acknowledges the importance of the “four-pointer”.
“It is a big game for us because of where we are and where we want to be,” he said.
“If they win, it opens up a bit of a gap between us. Obviously we don’t want to be sat where we are but we’re not looking where we are in the table at this moment in time.
“We’re fully focused on Wakefield and fine-tuning little parts of our game. If we do that, then everything else will take care of itself.”
One-time leaders Castleford and Harlequins RL will both be hoping to arrest their slump in fortunes with difficult-looking away games.
The Tigers go to the Halliwell Jones Stadium looking for their first League win in five while Harlequins, who go to champions Wigan Warriors, will drop into the bottom four by Sunday if they fail to halt a disappointing sequence that has seen them pick up just a point from their last eight matches.
Elsewhere, Salford City Reds will leapfrog Hull FC into the top eight if they beat them at the Willows and Catalan Dragons can climb above Leeds Rhinos into the top six if they win for the first time at Headingley.
The Rhinos are going for a fourth successive League win but the Dragons are also on a roll, with five wins a draw from their last six outings, and Leeds forward Jamie Peacock, the England captain, is delighted to see a resurgent French side.
“I think it is important for Super League that we have a strong Catalan team in the competition,” he said.
“They are a much better side this year under Trent Robinson. He is an excellent coach and he has them playing a good brand of rugby.
“They will be very tough this Friday, especially up front, and defensively they are a hard team to break down.
“I enjoy playing against French teams, either for Leeds or England, and if our games is going to grow we need more and more players coming through over there.”