Leeds will be looking to build on last week’s victory over Salford but come up against a stern St Helens side this week. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Saints have started the season well after beating champions Wigan and overcoming a tricky fixture away to Wakefield. They will be looking to continue their 100% record against the Rhinos.
After two disappointing losses to Warrington and Wigan, Leeds finally got some points on the board away to Salford with Tuimoala Lolohea and Jack Walker particularly impressive.
Justin Holbrook has gone for an unchanged squad again. The team is likely to be the same as the two victories in the opening fixtures means there isn’t a need to change.
This game will also be Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s 250th appearance for St Helens since his move from London Broncos in 2011.
St Helens 19-man squad:
1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 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, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 22. James Bentley, 23. Lachlan Coote.
Liam Sutcliffe returns to the squad after missing last week’s game against Salford due to illness. James Donaldson however misses out after suffering concussion.
Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad:
1. Jack Walker, 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins (c), 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Ash Handley, 6. Tui Lolohea, 7. Richie Myler, 8. Adam Cuthbertson, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Brad Singleton, 11. Trent Merrin, 13. Stevie Ward, 14. Brad Dwyer, 15. Liam Sutcliffe, 16. Brett Ferres, 18. Nathaniel Peteru, 19. Mikolaj Oledzki, 22. Cameron Smith, 29. Harry Newman.
HEAD TO HEAD
Saints have a slight edge with 34 victories compared to 32 victories from the Rhinos in the Super League era. Last season, Leeds inflicted Saints’ first loss of the season in March with a 28-20 victory. A Danny Richardson drop goal gave Saints a 23-22 in the return fixture.
Lachlan Coote (St Helens) vs Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos)
Coote had a bit of a mixed game against Wakefield. He set up two tries with cut-out passes and his positioning defensively was sound but he also kicked two restarts out on the full as well as an open play kick. The NRL Grand Final winner has bounds of experience and this week will come up against 19 year old Jack Walker.
Walker seemed to be a bit shaky in their opening two games, especially against Wigan. Last week, he was on top form in attack as his superb support play earned him a hat-trick. This week is a massive test against arguably the best attacking side in the competition.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 22nd Febraury
Venue: Totally Wicked Stadium
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?
Despite an improved performance from Leeds last week, I think Saints’ pack will give them the edge over Leeds.