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Super League match preview: St Helens vs Warrington Wolves

Date: Thursday 4th September
Venue: Langtree Park
Kick-off: 8pm

Teams

St Helens Squad: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Wheeler, Dawson, Richards, McDonnell

Warrington Squad: Asotasi, Atkins, Currie, Evans, Grix, Harrison, Higham, Hill, Laithwaite, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Myler, O’Brien, Ormsby, Ratchford, Russell, Waterhouse, Westwood, Wood

Preview

Table toppers St Helens can lift the League Leaders’ Shield this Thursday if they avoid defeat against local rivals Warrington Wolves.

Saints go in to the game off the back of a nail-biting 13-12 win over Leeds last week, in which they overturned a 12-2 deficit to secure the 2 points. Only Castleford can stop Saints from lifting the shield, and if they lose this weekend at Wakefield, the prize will be on its way to Langtree Park.

Warrington meanwhile go into the game in 4th place, needing 2 points to help secure a top 4 finish and an easier route to the Grand Final.

Head coach Tony Smith has made one change from the side that drew 24-24 with Huddersfield last Thursday, as Roy Asotasi returns in place of Anthony England. Stefan Ratchford may be recalled to the team, but Gareth O’Brien impressed at stand off last week and should retain his place.

Saints are still without long term absentees Luke Walsh, Jonny Lomax and Jon Wilkin, as well as Mark Percival who suffered concussion in the victory over Leeds. Gary Wheeler comes in for St Helens in the only change.

The sides have met twice already this season, most notably in the opening game back in February when Luke Walsh announced himself on the Super League stage and guided Saints to an emphatic 38-8 win. Warrington had their revenge at the Magic Weekend however, running in a comfortable 41-24 win.

St Helens boast an incredible Super League head to head record over their rivals, and up until 2011 had only lost once in the Super League era to the Wolves. There has been little to separate the sides in recent years however, and Thursday’s match should be no different.

Prediction

Too close to call so a draw seems possible!

Trainee sports journalist at News Associates, Manchester, UK.

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