Rugby League Expert & Columnist
Brian Carney previews Sky Sports' latest Super League action
Last Updated: 06/02/19 6:44pm
Sky Sports' Brian Carney casts an eye across Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons vs Huddersfield Giants.
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers
The hosts enter this game on the back of an agonising defeat to Hull KR last weekend that extended their losing run to 12 games spanning back to last season and Carney believes coach Lee Radford faces a battle to lift his side.
"You would have thought the end of the season would have put a full stop on things," Carney told Sky Sports News. "If they had won against Hull KR they could have totally written off last year but what happens now, last year's poor results bleed into this season and the manner of the defeat, the last play of the game, was a kick in the teeth for Radford and his players.
Carney has also warned Hull that they face a formidable challenge in the form of the Tigers.
"The Castleford Tigers are phenomenal," explained Carney. "They will threaten you all across the field, but they are not the finished article, they know that themselves. They came up short in the semi-finals last year so they have got to make some progress too and Hull will have it all to do to shut them down.
Carney added: "But I'll emphasise it, if Hull FC can get something out of this game either result or performance wise then they will have done it against one of the best in the competition and they will be a starting point for Lee Radford."
Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos
The Sky Sports cameras will also be at the DW Stadium where the Warriors play host to the Rhinos and former Wigan team-mates and now rival coaches - Adrian Lam and Dave Furner - go head to head.
"Lam would have seen a great deal of resilience in his side last weekend but perhaps not as much smart rugby league as he would have wanted," said Carney.
"They were 12 points down to a very good St Helens side that many have tipped to get to Old Trafford but Wigan didn't roll over and came back into it," he added.
"The same can't be said for his old team-mate," said Carney. "Leeds Rhinos were pretty disappointing against Warrington. They were up against a great side that are a degree more settled but they weren't where I thought they would be.
He added: "I've got an idea of what Furner is trying to achieve this year and ultimately I think if he can get his players to play that way he will have a degree of success but it is going to boil down to whether or not he can get his forwards and particularly his front rowers dominating teams.
"He plays a style of rugby league that requires domination from his forwards, they didn't have that against Warrington, they will absolutely need that against Wigan," he explained.
"I believe in Dave Furner as a coach and I believe he will get a response from his players," added Carney. "It was just a very poor start to the season and doesn't get any easier against the Wigan Warriors."
Catalans Dragons vs Huddersfield Giants
"I don't know if the Huddersfield defeat was surprising but maybe the size of their defeat," said Carney. "I went to watch Salford in pre-season and they were very good, they have a small squad and later in the season that may be their downfall but in this game they were exceptional."
He added: "Huddersfield will be bitterly disappointed and it doesn't get easier for them because they go to face a Catalans Dragons side who many have tipped to move up the table this season because of the signings they have made, most notably Matty Smith and Sam Tomkins."
"Catalans started the season with that defeat to Castleford Tigers and scored just four points in the game, one try, so they will be revved up," warned Carney. "Huddersfield will have it all to do to come back from the south of France with any points."