Hull KR vs Catalans Dragons Predictions: Try-machine Johnstone the smart bet

 | Friday 5th July 2024, 9:05am

Friday 5th July 2024, 9:05am

George Riley Betfred Super League Tips

Hull Kingston Rovers bid for a fifth Betfred Super League win in a row on Saturday as they welcome a Catalans Dragons side who have run hot and cold all season (kick-off 17:30 BST, live on Sky Sports Arena).

Steve McNamara’s Dragons have slipped from early pacesetters to also rans and need a big performance to get their stuttering season back on track. Rovers are jostling with St Helens just behind leaders Wigan Warriors and know that another win here would be a huge statement at a key point in the season. Here are my Hull KR vs Catalans Dragons predictions.

Hull KR vs Catalans Dragons Tips

  • Handicap 3-way: Catalans Dragons +8 @ 1/1
  • Tom Johnstone anytime tryscorer @ 5/4

Hull KR vs Catalans Dragons Odds

Rovers are a fair-sized favourite with title-sponsors Betfred, with a home win priced at 1/3. The French visitors are 12/5, while a draw in 80 minutes can be backed at 18/1.

Team News

Hull KR have brought hooker Matt Parcell back into the squad after he missed the narrow win over Castleford Tigers a fortnight ago with a shoulder injury sustained against Huddersfield Giants.

That is the only change to boss Willie Peters’ initial squad, Parcell replacing Louix Gorman. There is positive news on Jai Whitbread who missed that Cas game with a groin injury, he could feature this week after a positive fitness update. Zack Fishwick and winger Joe Burgess retain their places in the squad, as do all three England internationals – Jez Litten, Mikey Lewis and Elliot Minchella.

Centre Oliver Gildart is still not ready after two months out with a knee injury. He suffered a setback during the week and is probably a further week away from being considered. James Batchelor is still out with his ankle injury and is expected to be sidelined for a further three to four weeks.

Rugby League Odds

Catalans make three changes to their side after a narrow win over Huddersfield last time out and had a host of players on France duty for last week’s international defeat by England. One of them - Fouad Yaha - is left out of the initial squad, along with hooker Michael McIlorum and Jayden Nikorima.

Matthieu Laguerre is back, with Yacine Ben Abdeslem and Guillermo Aispuro-Bichet the other men added.

Handicap 3-way: Catalans Dragons +8 @ 1/1

The Robins may have won their home fixture with Catalans last year by 26 points to 18, but the French side tend to dominate this match-up. Indeed the Dragons have won nine of their last 10 meetings against Rovers, including a comprehensive 36-6 win at the Stade Gilbert Brutus earlier this season.

I think form and home advantage sways this in Hull KR’s favour for a rare win over McNamara’s men, but I expect it to be very close.

We are approaching the point in the season where sides absolutely have to be winning these games in the jostle for play-off positions and I know McNamara will have pinpointed this fixture as an opportunity to spark an upward turn in results.

Catalans snapped out of a three-match losing run despite an incredible second-half fightback by Huddersfield a couple of weeks ago, but I think this will be a tough night for them. I’m backing a Rovers win here to keep up the pressure on Wigan and Saints, but on the handicap I like the Dragons with an eight-point start at 1/1 which suggests a 50/50 chance of coming in.

Catalans +8 @ 1/1

Tom Johnstone anytime tryscorer @  5/4

England winger Tom Johnstone was in red-hot form for his country last weekend, running in two tries in an easy win. He should be good to go again this weekend and the away fixture offers up appealing odds of 5/4 for another try in this one.

The big winger will leave the club at the end of the season to return home and is hungry for a prolific final season in France. This will be his 150th Super League appearance and one I can see him marking with a try.

Tom Johnstone anytime tryscorer @ 5/4

You can read all our latest Rugby League Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights Rugby League content hub.

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