Wakefield host St Helens on Sunday afternoon hoping to end a run of five straight defeats. Here’s everything you need to know.
Wakefield have been boosted by the return of Scott Grix, Liam Finn, Anthony England and Chris Annakin, who all missed their defeat against Leeds last weekend.
Pauli Pauli and Max Jowitt are the noticeable absentees from the 19, with James Batchelor and Ryan Hampshire also making way.
Wakefield 19-man squad: Grix, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Finn, Wood, England, Ashurst, Kirmond, Randell, Horo, Arona, Huby, Arundel, Hirst, Baldwinson, Annakin.
Ben Barba returns to the St Helens side after missing last week’s 26-12 victory over Hull FC.
Youngster Matty Costello could make his debut for the Saints, but it seems likely that Matty Smith will be called into the 17 to replace James Roby, who misses out with a rib injury.
The Red V have still only lost once in 2018 and will want to extend their run of victories over a woefully unlucky Wakefield, whose last three defeats have been by a margin of just eight points.
St Helens 19-man squad: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles, Thompson, Peyroux, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Barba, Costello.
HEAD TO HEAD
Wakefield have not defeated the Saints in their last five trips to the Mobile Rocket stadium. Justin Holbrook’s side claimed a narrow 18-16 victory over their opponents in their most recent fixture last September.
However, Trinity did pick up the win away at St Helens last March, and will be hoping to use this game to revive their 2018, which is in danger of petering out.
KEY BATTLE- Kyle Wood vs Matty Smith
Kyle Wood will need to be at his very best if Wakefield are to get anything out of this game. Nevertheless, he may find himself up against Matty Smith, who is by no means a natural hooker.
With Smith perhaps showing a lack of comfort in the number nine position, the 28-year old Trinity man may have the opportunity to dictate proceedings around the ruck.
It will be up to the experienced Smith to stop Wood from getting enough time and space to create chances around the play-the-ball area.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday April 15, 2018
Venue: Mobile Rocket Stadium
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