London shocked champions Wigan Warriors last weekend with an 18-16 victory. This week they face an even bigger test away to St Helens.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Saints currently sit second in the table, just behind Castleford on points difference. Cas’ face a tricky fixture away to Warrington so a win against London could put them two points clear at the top of the table. Last week Saints were impressive and patient in wet conditions against Salford.
Not many would have predicted London to beat Wigan last week. Currently they sit above Wigan and Leeds in the table. They have taken some scalps at home but they need to get a few wins away from home if they are to avoid relegation.
Saints have made just one change to the side with Kevin Naqaima returning from concussion to replace Matt Costello. Coach Justin Holbrook believes there are no need to give players a rest after only four games and will only change the side if players are carrying knocks.
St Helens 19-man squad: 1. Jonny Lomax 2. Tommy Makinson 3. Kevin Naqaima 4. Mark Percival 5. Regan Grace 6. Theo Fages 8. Alex Walmsley 9. James Roby 10. Luke Thompson 11. Zeb Taia 12. Joseph Paulo 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles 16. Kyle Amor 17. Dom Peyroux 19. Matty Lees 20. Jack Ashworth 22. James Bentley 23. Lachlan Coote.
Despite beating the champions last week, coach Danny Ward has made changes to his 19 man squad for the first time this season. Matt Davis returns to London on loan from Warrington while James Meadows and Jacob Ogden could make their first appearances of the season. Jay Pitts misses out as does Kieran Dixon.
London Broncos 19-man squad: 1. Alex Walker 2. Rhys Williams 4. Elliot Kear 6. Jordan Abdull 8. Eddie Batye 9. Eloi Pelissier 10. Mark Ione 11. Will Lovell 13. Sadiq Adebiyi 14. Matt Fozard 15. Greg Richards 16 Matty Gee 17. Matty Fleming 20. Luke Yates 22. James Meadows 23. Rob Butler 24. Jacob Ogden 28. Morgan Smith 29. Matt Davis.
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the first meeting between the two sides since July 2014 where St Helens beat London 58-16. London have only beat St Helens three times away from home with the last coming when they beat them 27-16 in Saints’ season playing at Widnes.
James Roby(St Helens) v Matty Fozard (London Broncos)
Eyebrows may have been raised when Roby was handed a new deal that runs until the end of 2021 at the start of the season but the hooker is like a fine wine and just gets better with age. He already has a five point lead at the top of the Steve Prescott Man of Steel standings and last week put on a vintage Roby performance with 50 tackles and two tries, including following up a 80 metre break from Tommy Makinson in the last minute. This key battle may be James Roby vs Matty Fozard but it may as well be Roby vs the whole London team.
Matty Fozard may have learnt a few things from Roby during his rugby education in the St Helens academy. Fozard dropped down a division to Sheffield where he impressed. He probably did not expect to be playing in Super League when he signed for London but this season Danny Ward has given Fozard the starting hooker birth despite having competition from James Cunningham and Eloi Pelissier. Fozard will no doubt relish the challenge of facing Roby.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 8th March
Venue: The Totally Wicked Stadium
Referee: M Griffiths
WHO WILL WIN?
This will be an easy win for St Helens. I can’t see London having the ability to back up last week and are missing a few key players. While Saints are in good form so it could be a 40+ win.