Plenty to look forward to in Super League over Easter weekend

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Easter is upon us and that means just one thing for rugby league fans, an extravaganza of Super League action.

Between today and Easter Monday every Super League side will play two games in a crucial period which could well affect the table dramatically.

The Easter period is famed for its derbies, with five out of the six ties taking place over the course of Thursday and Friday pitting local rivals against each other, starting with Castleford v Leeds Rhinos tonight.

Coaches and players may not be too fond of the hectic schedule, but there’s no doubting the fans’ hunger for the period.

We’ve picked out three things to look forward to over the Super League Easter period.

The biggest Cheshire derby in years

It’s been a long time since Warrington and Widnes met in a game which had as much importance on the top of the league table as Friday’s derby.

But, given both sides’ sensational starts to the 2016 season – they sit level on points at the top of the ladder – the winner of Friday’s all-Cheshire clash is set to go clear of the other.

Despite Widnes sitting in first spot, it’s the home side Warrington who are favourites (2/11) to beat their local rivals Widnes (4/1) and move clear.

After their strong showing at Wigan last week though, Widnes with a +14 handicap at 10/11 will prove a popular price amongst supporters.

Ryan Brierley’s Huddersfield debut

Over the last month, not a day has gone by without a different Ryan Brierley rumour doing the rounds.

But that issue was finally put to bed this week as the former Leigh Centurions half-back signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Huddersfield and has been named in their 19-man squad to face Wakefield on Good Friday.

Where he fits into the Giants team remains to be seen, with rumours suggesting he has been brought in as a possible full-back rather than his natural half-back position he thrived on at Leigh.

The question remains as to whether he will be able to make a successful step up from the Championship to the Super League, but his unbelievable try scoring record at Leigh – 133 tries in 125 games – suggest he is more than capable of proving a force at the top level.

He can be backed at evens to make a try-scoring Giants debut against the Wildcats.

Massive crowds

As mentioned earlier in the article, the rugby league public well and truly get behind the hectic Easter period.

And this is evident in ticket sales for a number of the local derbies taking place tonight and on Good Friday.

Castleford v Leeds is practically a sell-out, and the same goes for the Warrington-Widnes and St Helens-Wigan derbies.

Very few games are played with the intensity of these local ties – particularly the latter – and rugby league fans love nothing more than packing out the stands over the holidays and seeing a win over their local rivals.

Castleford fans will be confident given the fact they’ve won their last two clashes with Leeds, and can be backed at 2/1 to gain a win on home soil.

For the latest Rugby League odds click here.

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.