Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens Predictions: Welsby to shine in bounce-back Saints win

 | March 14 | 

4 mins read

Paul Sculthorpe Betting Tips

Two of the six teams tied at the top of the table on six points each meet at AMT Headingley on Friday night when Leeds Rhinos host St Helens (kick-off 20:00 GMT).

And former Saints and Great Britain star Paul Sculthorpe believes the huge clash will see the 'Red V' return to winning ways, as he reveals in his Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens predictions for Betfred Insights...

Leeds Rhinos v St Helens Tips

  • St Helens to win -9.5 in 2-way handicap @ 13/8
  • Jack Welsby first tryscorer @ 9/1

Well, as predicted this season is turning out to be the tightest Betfred Super League campaign to date.

I say that, with six teams sharing top spot after four rounds, albeit favourites Wigan Warriors having played a game less due to the Betfred World Club Challenge game - and that lot being the only team yet to lose a game.

Taking nothing away from a very resilient Salford Red Devils side last Friday, but you have to talk about complacency in the Saints camp having been in full control at 20-6 up going into the final quarter of the match.

However, one obvious turning point was the dismissal of Saints centre Mark Percival just after half-time for an alleged high tackle on Salford’s Jack Ormandroyd.

I personally am baffled by the decision, as it didn’t seem to be anything but a great defensive read which caused the player to lose the ball.

Where do we draw the line on these? Percy had to make a split decision and any coach will tell you he made it spot on. Sometime the technique isn’t always going to be perfect…but we can’t continue to see our star players sitting in the stands for something that wouldn't have even been penalised 12 months ago.

I’m all for protecting players, but I really didn’t see anything about that tackle that deserved the punishment it got. However, this is the game now, it’s never going to be reversed so players need to adapt and adhere to the way referees want the game to be played. Unfortunately for me, this is to the detriment of the sport.

So, with Percy in the sheds, Salford found their way back into the game with Nene Macdonald exploiting the extra man down Saints' left edge.

It was then some great feet from Chris Atkin and some awful Saints defence that put Salford within a score, before a Deon Cross try five minutes from time secured the visitors their first win at St Helens in 44 years.

Paul Wellens spoke to the press after the game and praised the efforts of his players, but admitted they made some wrong plays. I know Wello will be fuming with that defeat, and it's something to put right this week against the Leeds Rhinos.

St Helens to win -9.5 in 2-way handicap @ 13/8

One thing I do know at Saints, after a defeat all focus is on putting things right in the next performance. There will be a focus this week to get back to winning ways, which starts with individuals getting their own standards high, which collectively will see a great team performance.

Looking at the current betting with title sponsors Betfred, last weekend’s results have definitely had a bearing on current prices!

Wigan remain 11/8 favourites, with Saints just behind at 5/2. Warrington Wolves, Leeds and Catalans Dragons are all at 8/1.  Meanwhile, Saints victors Salford  have seen their odds cut to 50/1.

So, back to this weekend. I’m super confident the Saints will get back to winning ways at Leeds. I’m going for a win by more than 10 points, which is 13/8 at Betfred.

St Helens -9.5 v Leeds @ 13/8

Jack Welsby to score the first try @ 9/1

The Rhinos have again showed their inconsistencies in the opening four rounds, however they did show some steel to turn around a 16-0 deficit to beat Leigh Leopards 22-16. Big pre-season signing Brodie Croft is steadily finding his feet in his new surroundings and is definitely someone we need to control.

Jack Welsby maintained his 100 per-cent record of scoring in every game, and is again a good shout for the opening try, and that's 9/1 with Betfred.

Jack Welsby first try v Leeds @ 9/1

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

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