These sides meet for the first time in Super League competition since 2005. St Helens come off the back of a two-week break following the World Club Series, whereas Leigh will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Leeds just a week ago.
Last Time Out
Leigh have not started their latest Super League campaign as well as they would have thought. Their opening game was a heavy defeat to Castleford Tigers, their second game against Leeds was a much closer affair, but it was the Centurions who came away without any points in the 14-17 loss. However, the Super League new boys have shown a lot of promise, particularly in their last game against Leeds. If they are to be contenders this year, they will need to make some defensive improvements to pick up some points.
St Helens started their campaign with a hard earned win over Leeds in round one. Although it was a low scoring game, there was plenty of passion and flair on show, with Saints’ forward thinking play earning them the win on the night.
Atelea Vea is going to be key for Leigh. The second-rower scored 10 tries for St Helens in his time there, and will have a good idea of their ways of playing. He has been a big influence in the opening few weeks for the Centurions and could be a real playmaker on Friday night.
For St Helens, James Roby is going to be the difference. You can tell when the experienced hooker is on the field, as Saints look so organised going forward. If anyone is going to steer them in the right direction against a hungry Leigh side, it will be the number nine.
We have seen that Leigh have struggled with their opening fixtures, and that St Helens showed some great grit in their first game of the season. I expect St Helens will aim to exploit Leigh on the wings, however I don’t expect them to win to nil, as Leigh are perfectly capable of registering a few points on the board– I think St Helens will win by 8.
Leigh Centurions: 1. Mitch Brown, 2. Adam Higson, 3. Ben Crooks, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matty Dawson, 7. Josh Drinkwater, 8. Gareth Hock, 9. Micky Higham (c), 11. Cory Paterson, 13. Harrison Hansen, 14. Eloi Pelissier, 15. Danny Tickle, 17. Atelea Vea, 20. Ben Reynolds, 22. James Green, 23. Sam Hopkins, 24. Jamie Acton, 29. Lachlan Burr, 30. Curtis Naughton
St Helens: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin (c), 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Adam Walker, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 21. Jack Owens, 24. Danny Richardson.