Favourites for the competition, St Helens, will welcome an unfancied Wakefield side on Saturday afternoon at The Totally Wicked Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
After a few scratchy performances, St Helens were back to their usual self at Anfield. They blew away Castleford in the opening 20 minutes with some scintillating play. They have still only lost one game so far this season so Wakefield will have to put in one of their best performances of the season if they are to get through to the semi’s.
Last week wasn’t so magic for Wakefield as they were beaten by Catalans Dragons in the opening game at Anfield. This has meant they have only won one of their last four games and that was by scraping past Huddersfield 26-25.
There is a welcome return for the trio of Luke Thompson, Mark Percival and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who have all missed the last couple of months. Theo Fages however misses out through concussion with Danny Richardson replacing him. James Roby was cleared to play after he was sin-binned for a crusher tackle last weekend.
St Helens 19-man squad: 1. Jonny Lomax 2. Tommy Makinson 3. Kevin Naiqama 4. Mark Percival 5. Regan Grace 7. Danny Richardson 8. Alex Walmsley 9. James Roby 10. Luke Thompson 11. Zeb Taia 12. Joseph Paulo 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles 17. Dom Peyroux 19. Matty Lees 20. Jack Ashworth 21. Aaron Smith 23. Lachlan Coote 24. Matty Costello
Danny Brough returns the squad after missing two months through a hand injury. However there are two big blows for Trinity with David Fifita and Max Jowitt missing after getting injured last weekend. Junior Sau is unavailable after making an appearance for Salford in the last round. Jack Croft could make his senior debut after being named in the squad.
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: 1. Ryan Hampshire 4. Reece Lyne 5. Ben Jones-Bishop 6. Jacob Miller 7. Danny Brough 9. Kyle Wood 10. Anthony England 11. Matty Ashurst 12. Danny Kirmond 13. Tyler Randell 15. Craig Kopczak 19. James Batchelor 20. Keegan Hirst 22. George King 26. Jordan Crowther 29. Lee Kershaw 34. Mason Caton-Brown 36. Kelepi Tanginoa 37. Jack Croft
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the first time that the two teams have met in the Challenge Cup since the second round in 1991 where St Helens beat Wakefield 16-2 thanks to tries from Alan Hunte and John Harrison. Earlier in the season Saints beat Wakefield 24-18 in an entertaining fixture in the second round.
Danny Richardson (St Helens) v Danny Brough (Wakefield Trinity)
This week’s key battle is between the two Danny’s in the halves. Danny Richardson has only had a bit-part role so far this season, playing second fiddle to Theo Fages. Fages misses this week through concussion so Richardson returns to the starting line up. Richardson hasn’t set the world alight either when he has started. Neither has he been playing for Leigh with Josh Woods and Ryan Brierely preferred.
If Wakefield are to have any chance of winning then Danny Brough has to be at the top of his game. His long kicking game will have to be on point if they are to pin St Helens back. This is the Challenge Cup though and we have seen some of Brough’s most memorable performances happen in this competition.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Venue: The Totally Wicked Stadium
Referee: Chris Kendall
WHO WILL WIN?
Can’t see anything other than a Saints victory. David Fifita is a massive miss and Wakefield will be unable to match them in the forwards.