We have barely had time to draw breath on a frantic finish to the Super League regular season before heading into the Super League Play-Offs, with two eliminators taking place this week.
Wigan Warriors sealed top spot with a narrow win at Leigh Leopards, while Catalans Dragons beat Salford Red Devils to finish as runners-up. Both sides now get a week off before the semi-finals where they will play the winners of this week's eliminators.
Game one is a rematch from this year's Challenge Cup final, with Hull KR hosting Leigh at Craven Park on Friday evening.
The Leopards lifted the cup courtesy of a golden-point drop goal in extra-time at Wembley, so Rovers will be hell-bent on revenge this week.
Saturday's second eliminator looks a tough one for Warrington Wolves, who head to reigning champions St Helens in a third versus sixth contest at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Having won the last four Grand Finals, Saints are more accustomed to going straight into the semi-finals, but they enter the Play-Offs in fantastic form and will fancy their chances of progressing.
Wigan will face the lowest-ranked eliminator winner in the semis, while Catalans will take on the highest-ranked eliminator winner on home soil in Perpignan.
|What||Hull Kingston Rovers v Leigh Leopards|
|Where||Craven Park, Hull|
|When||20:00; Friday 29th September 2023|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Main Event & Arena|
|Odds||Hull KR 4/7, Tie 20/1, Leigh 6/4|
Hull KR have enjoyed some fantastic tussles with Leigh this season and this crucial contest should be no different.
The pair have enjoyed superb seasons following their Challenge Cup final appearances with a finishing spot in the top six of the regular-season table, and the neck and neck nature of their contests in 2023 went right down to the final hooter last Friday.
Leigh looked to be finishing in fourth place and with it a home fixture in the Play-Offs.
However, their defeat at home to Wigan coupled with Rovers' hefty win at relegated Wakefield Trinity meant KR leapfrogged the Leopards into fourth, thus taking the crucial home advantage for this Friday's knockout clash.
And home turf is generally where the Robins do their best work, with Willie Peters' side claiming nine of their 16 victories this season at Craven Park.
Leigh won there 30-25 back in round three, but Rovers responded with a whopping 52-10 drubbing in the following match after the Challenge Cup final.
Things should be much tighter in this latest dust-up but Hull KR are fancied to come out on top by covering a four-point handicap at 5/6 this week.
Of the two teams, Hull KR kick-off the Play-Offs in much better shape, having won their final five regular-season matches, including that 52-10 thumping of Leigh, while Wakefield, Catalans, Salford and Huddersfield have all been given short shrift in the closing matches.
Things have been more of a struggle for the Challenge Cup holders, who have won just two of their last six league matches.
Last week's narrow loss to Wigan proved costly as Zak Hardaker and John Asiata look set to miss out this week through injury, while Tom Amone has been suspended and could also miss out pending an appeal.
Only Dean Hadley is likely to be an absentee for Hull KR, who have won nine of their last 12 meetings with Leigh.
It promises to be a thrilling encounter at Craven Park between two teams who like to attack and put pressure on their opponents and both will fancy their chances of going all the way to the Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday 14th October.
However, this contest could also be a tight nervy affair given what is at stake but that could lead to another decent-value bet worth having.
Each side will look to put points on the board at any given opportunity, so a penalty kick to be the first scoring play on Friday looks to be a good way to go.
KR are 13/2 to get the first score on the board with a two-pointer, while Leigh are 8/1 to open up with a successful shot at goal. Both bets look cracking value and represent an early chance to lock in a profit.