Thursday night’s Sky game sees Salford take on St Helens at the AJ Bell Satdium. Saints will be looking to seal a play-off spot with a victory against the Red Devils while Salford will want to win in their last game of the season.
LAST TIME OUT
Salford will want to forget that last week ever happened after they plummeted to a 44-2 defeat to Leeds at Headingley Stadium. Salford were the first to put points on the board through a Gareth O’Brien penalty. The Rhinos then replied with two tries in the first 17 minutes with Liam Sutcliffe and Danny McGuire. Tom Briscoe also added another before the break with Leeds leading 16-2 at the half-time break.
Matt Parcell then added two scores in the first seven minutes after the break before Cuthbertson, Mullally and Ferres added a further three tries to wrap up a great night for the Rhinos and a dismal display for the Red Devils.
St Helens fought off a patchy Huddersfield side to win 40-16 at the Totally Wicked Stadium. The victory saw the Saints move into the play-off places just behind third-placed Hull. Saints were first to score with Lomax and Grace both scoring within the first 10 minutes. Huddersfield then replied through a Roberts try in the 30th minute before Percival and Lomax added two more tries to lead 24-6 at the half-time hooter.
After the break, Ben Barba continued in fine form with a try before Ryan Morgan added another. Huddersfield replied with tries from Hinchcliffe and Rankin but it was too late to get back in the game. Saints added a final try three minutes before full-time with a McCarthy-Scarsbrook try.
With these two sides, expect a physical battle in the forwards. Salford move Murdoch-Masila back into the pack and also have Hauraki, Kopczak and McCarthy to choose from. They may not be the best in terms of skills, but each player will carry the ball as much as they can and make those extra metres as and when needed.
On the other hand, Saints have their pick of Amor, Douglas, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Taia and Walmsley. With some solid English forwards in the mix, these players will want to put in big performances now before the England squad is announced for the World Cup coming up soon.
Both teams have made little, if any, changes to their squads. Saints’ coach Justin Holbrook has named the same 19 as last week; however, Jonny Lomax is doubtful and may not play due to a minor leg injury.
Salford make just the one change with George Griffin dropping out of the 19 to make way for Kris Welham. Griffin picked up a knock last week and Welham has recovered from a toe injury. With Welham’s return, this means that Murdoch-Masila will move from centre back into the forwards.
Salford (from): Bibby, Brining, Evalds, Welham, Hauraki, Jones, Kopczak, Lannon, Lui, McCarthy, Murdoch-Masila, Murray, O’Brien, Sa’u, Tomkins, Vatuvei, Adam Walne, Jordan Walne, Wood.
St Helens (from): Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Thompson, Peyroux, Knowles, Richardson, Grace, Taia, Barba.
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: James Child
Date/Time: Thursday 21st September 2017, 8pm BST
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