Atkins and Warrington can extend their run and hit the top

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Fresh from booking their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final, Warrington kick off the Super 8s against St Helens with a big chance of ending the night at the top of the table.

The second stage of the Super League seasons gets underway at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in a clash between two local rivals who are both unbeaten in their last five league games.

The pressure was on St. Helens and their head coach Keiron Cunningham not so long ago as they were knocked out of the Challenge Cup and were struggling in Super League.

However, five wins on the bounce has seen the Saints oust Catalans into fourth spot, and they will have their sights set on a top-four finish to book a place in the play-off semi-finals.

Warrington, who are already within 80 minutes of one piece of silverware after thrashing Wakefield 56-12 in their Challenge Cup semi last weekend, can go top with a win and add to their own five-game unbeaten streak tonight.

With the season now reaching the Super 8s stage, it’s all about finishing in the top four after the next seven rounds to have any chance of reaching the Grand Final in October.

A win for the Wolves tonight would not only move them top of the ladder, but would put them nine points clear of fifth, a substantial gap with so few games remaining.

Key to their success has been centre Ryan Atkins, who at 30 is currently producing some of the best form of his career. He was recently voted Super League Player of the Month for July and is the Wolves’ leading scorer with 15 tries. He is 11/8 to score at anytime tonight.

Saints face more of a scrap for their place in the top four, and after an empty weekend due to an early Challenge Cup exit, could well be fresh enough to catch the Wolves off guard.

Cunningham’s side are 6/4 to start the Super 8s off with a win and extend their winning streak to six games.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Joe Whiteley

Joe is a Yorkshireman with a love for most sports, but especially rugby league, football and cricket. After realising he didn't have the strength, skill or hand-eye coordination to play any of those professionally, he completed a degree in Sports Journalism. He has since worked for sports publishers, newspapers and a professional rugby league club before joining Ladbrokes.