Super League Previews - Week Three

Leigh Centurions vs St Helens

The Lowdown


  • A second consecutive defeat last week for Leigh but they had plenty more positives to take from the game against Leeds, even if they still made numerous mistakes that they need to cut out.
  • James Green and Curtis Naughton come into the squad but coach Neil Jukes appears to be getting close to finding the right blend within his squad of players.
  • Veteran Micky Higham is also available and his leadership and experience will be vital and had they had his qualities against Leeds, they may well have won that game.

Head Coach: Neil Jukes

Squad: Mitch Brown, Adam Higson, Ben Crooks, Willie Tonga, Matty Dawson, Josh Drinkwater, Gareth Hock, Micky Higham, Cory Paterson, Harrison Hansen, Eloi Pelissier, Danny Tickle, Atelea Vea, Ben Reynolds, James Green, Sam Hopkins, Jamie Acton, Lachlan Burr, Curtis Naughton

Unavailable: James Clare (Knee), Gregg McNally (Knee), Martyn Ridyard (Unknown), Glenn Stewart (Unknown), Dayne Weston (Ankle), Liam Hood (Calf), Tom Armstrong (Unknown)


  • The Saints have had two weeks since their opening game so they will be raring to go after they won their solitary game in a hard fought game against Leeds 6-4.
  • The club lost star Joe Greenwood to the Gold Coast Titans during this time but they have added Zeb Taia to their ranks and he is an excellent addition, although he awaits international clearance to play.
  • They are boosted however by the return of Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook after injury so he will help minimise the loss of Greenwood in the short term and add more quality to their line-up.

Head Coach: Kieron Cunningham

Squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Adam Swift, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Luke Douglas, Adam Walker, Luke Thompson, Tommy Lee, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles, Jack Owens, Danny Richardson

Unavailable: Zeb Taia (Ineligible), Matty Smith (Broken leg)

Analysis - what to expect
Leigh's daunting start to the season continues as they welcome St Helens and their search for their first win in the Super League since returning may have to wait. St Helens have plenty of strength and depth to their squad and until Leigh can start to play well consistently over an 80 minute game, they will struggle in games like this and it looks like another defeat for them.

Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Red Devils

The Lowdown


  • Leeds edged their first win of the season at Leigh last week but their performance was generally poor and littered with mistakes so they will have to improve here.
  • Joel Moon is back from suspension while Mitch Garbutt has recovered from illness so both return to the squad, which will strengthen them significantly.
  • Jamie Jones-Buchanan is available to play after he successfully navigated an RFL disciplinary hearing this week so he takes his place in the squad for this game.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Matt Parcell, Adam Cuthbertson, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton, Mitch Garbutt, Jimmy Keinhorst, Anthony Mullally, Josh Walters, Jack Ormondroyd

Unavailable: Brett Ferres (Groin), Keith Galloway (Achilles), Brett Delaney (Unknown)


  • Salford shrugged off their opening day home defeat to Wigan by going to Huddersfield last week and winning 30-20 so confidence has been lifted from that excellent performance.
  • Recent signing Todd Carney is working on his fitness and this game comes too soon for him, while they have to do without namesake Justin Carney who is suspended.
  • Jake Bibby and Josh Wood both come into a squad that is still missing Ben Murdoch-Masila and Weller Huaraki but they have good strength in depth.

Head Coach: Ian Watson

Squad: Adam Walne, Craig Kopczak, Gareth O'Brien, George Griffin, Greg Johnson, Jake Bibby, Josh Jones, Josh Wood, Junior Sa'u, Kris Welham, Kriss Brining, Lama Tasi, Lee Mossop, Logan Tomkins, Mark Flanagan, Michael Dobson, Olsi Krasniqi, Rob Lui, Ryan Lannon

Unavailable: Todd Carney (Fitness), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Knee), Weller Huaraki (Foot), Jordan Walne (Unknown), Justin Carney (Suspended)

Analysis - what to expect
This match is Leeds' first home game of the season and they will have to improve their game significantly if they are to come away with the points. They made plenty of unforced mistakes in the second half against Leigh especially, and they still have plenty of improvements to make offensively. With Salford missing live wire Justin Carney, that will reduce their firepower so this may not be as high scoring as some may expect, but the hosts should just about edge a tight game.

Widnes Vikings vs Wigan Warriors

The Lowdown


  • Widnes lost their opening game of the season at home to Huddersfield, meaning they have lost four in a row dating back to last season and Denis Betts will be hoping they can get their season up and running against his former club.
  • The curse of their half-backs continues as after losing skipper Kevin Brown to Warrington in the summer and Joe Mellor to a knee injury, Tom Gilmore is now out for around two months.
  • Jack Buchanan and Jordan Johnstone come into the squad for Gilmore and Ted Chapelhow and they will be hoping their fans turn out in force for this hastily rearranged game.

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Tom Armstrong, Chris Bridge, Jack Buchanan, Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Jay Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Gil Dudson, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Jordan Johnstone, MacGraff Leuluai, Stefan Marsh, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Lloyd White, Matt Whitley

Unavailable: Joe Mellor (Knee), Manase Manuokafoa (Suspended), Eamon O'Carroll (Shoulder), Chris Dean (Torn biceps), Alex Gerrard (Unknown), Tom Gilmore (Ankle), Ted Chapelhow (Unknown)


  • After this game was initially postponed on Thursday due to the weather conditions and state of Wigan's pitch, the fixture was reversed and they now travel to Widnes.
  • The Warriors come into this game on a high after they beat NRL club Cronulla Sharks last Sunday thanks to a superb hat-trick of tries by Joe Burgess.
  • Coach Shaun Wane names the same squad of players for the third consecutive week so they remain without the injured trio of Tomkins, Manfredi and McIlorum.

Head Coach: Shaun Wane

Squad: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Morgan Escaré, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O'Loughlin, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Joel Tomkins, George Williams

Unavailable: Sam Tomkins (Ankle), Dom Manfredi (Knee), Michael McIlorum (Ankle)

Analysis - what to expect
Widnes have the advantage of playing at home now after this game was initially postponed and then rearranged on the day of the game, although it may be a lower attendance than usual. There is a negative dynamic at Widnes due to poor form and injuries so they will have to somehow raise their game dramatically to beat Wigan. Shaun Wane has hinted at rotating his team, but even if they do, they should have too much for the struggling hosts.

Huddersfield Giants vs Wakefield Trinity

The Lowdown


  • The Giants were brought back down to earth last week losing at home to Salford so they are under some pressure to get their first win at home and give their fans something to cheer about.
  • Skipper Leroy Cudjoe and star winger Jermaine McGillvary have both overcome knocks to play but Tyler Dickinson comes in for the injured Michael Lawrence.
  • They have a fitness doubt over Dale Ferguson who has a groin complaint so his participation may be in some doubt, while they remain without Jake Mamo and Tom Symonds.

Head Coach: Rick Stone

Squad: Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Ryan Brierley, Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta'ai, Paul Clough, Daniel Smith, Tyler Dickinson, Darnell McIntosh, Alex Mellor

Unavailable: Jake Mamo (Ankle), Tom Symonds (Knee), Michael Lawrence (Unknown)


  • Wakefield have lost their last 9 Super League matches but they could take positives from their opening day defeat to Hull, losing narrowly 8-12 at home two weeks ago.
  • Trinity name an unchanged squad for this match as Matty Ashurst and Anthony England are passed fit to play so they have good continuity within the team.
  • That means Mitch Allgood and Keegan Hirst remain on the sidelines as Chris Chester's men will make the short trip across Yorkshire to try and break their losing run.

Head Coach: Chris Chester

Squad: Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Jordan Crowther, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Craig Huby, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny Kirmond, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Mikey Sio, Bill Tupou, Anthony Walker, Sam Williams, Kyle Wood

Unavailable: Mitch Allgood (Head), Keegan Hirst (Ankle)

Analysis - what to expect
Huddersfield were hugely disappointing in the defeat at home to Salford last week and that should see a reaction here - which spells trouble for the visitors. Wakefield are in a negative dynamic having lost their last 9 games and they need to snap that quickly. This may be a step too far for them however in what should be a home win for the Giants.

Warrington Wolves vs Castleford Tigers

The Lowdown


  • Warrington produced an outstanding performance last week to beat the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Series to kick-start their season in impressive fashion.
  • Tony Smith has named an unchanged squad for this game so they remain without some key players but that did not hamper them in the win last week.
  • After making his competitive debut last week and putting in a man of the match performance, Tony Smith's men will look to Kevin Brown for inspiration once again.

Head Coach: Tony Smith

Squad: Ryan Atkins, Matty Blythe, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Dom Crosby, Brad Dwyer, Rhys Evans, Kurt Gidley, Jack Hughes, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Matty Russell, Andre Savelio, Ashton Sims, Joe Westerman, Ben Westwood

Unavailable: Stefan Ratchford (Knee), Ben Currie (Knee), Chris Hill (Hernia/Shoulder), George King (Mumps)


  • Castleford come into this game fresh after having a free weekend last week and they will be expecting a tougher test than their comfortable opening day victory over Leigh.
  • Paul McShane is suspended after his dangerous throw in the Leigh match so he drops out as youngster Luke Million comes in as the only change in the squad.
  • Prop Grant Millington is available after his wife gave birth on Wednesday as his team looks to improve on their poor result at Warrington last season where they lost 56-12.

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

Squad: Rangi Chase, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Grant Millington, Luke Million, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Junior Moors, Ben Roberts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Webster

Unavailable: Oliver Holmes (Unknown), Larne Patrick (Wrist), Paul McShane (Suspended)

Analysis - what to expect
Warrington will be on a major high after their win against Brisbane last week but they may well suffer something of a comedown against Castleford here. The visitors demonstrated their impressive firepower even without the departed Solomona against Leigh on the opening day, and with Warrington having plenty of flair themselves, expect plenty of points in what should be an entertaining game.

Hull FC vs Catalans Dragons

The Lowdown


  • Hull started their season on a positive note winning away to Wakefield but it needed a late try by debutant Jake Connor to edge to victory so they will look to improve here.
  • The club were handed a major boost when key man Marc Sneyd signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2019 and they will look to him for inspiration here to unlock the Catalan defence.
  • Prop forward Josh Bowden is back in the squad following an ankle injury but they have to do without the suspended Albert Kelly after he was banned for a high tackle in the Wakefield game.

Head Coach: Lee Radford

Squad: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Sika Manu, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Danny Washbrook, Steve Michaels, Jansin Turgut, Josh Bowden

Unavailable: Dean Hadley (Hip), Albert Kelly (Suspended)


  • The Catalans Dragons got their season off to an excellent start beating Warrington two weeks ago so they travel to Hull in great confidence for their first away match.
  • They make three changes to their squad for this game with Louis Anderson, Alrix Da Costa and Iain Thornley coming in for the injured Fouad Yaha, Luke Burgess and Lucas Albert.
  • Tony Gigot serves the final match of his two-game ban, while the loss of Fouad Yaha is a blow and he could miss several weeks with his knee injury picked up last time out.

Head Coach: Laurent Frayssinous

Squad: Paul Aiton, Jason Baitieri, Greg Bird, Thomas Bosc, Julian Bousquet, Iain Thornley, Louis Anderson, Jodie Broughton, Remi Casty, Vincent Duport, Ben Garcia, Justin Horo, Krisnan Inu, Sam Moa, Richie Myler, Mickael Simon, Luke Walsh, Brayden Wiliame, Alrix Da Costa

Unavailable: Tony Gigot (Suspended), Lucas Albert (Unknown), Luke Burgess (Unknown), Fouad Yaha (Knee)

Analysis - what to expect
Both of these sides come into the game after winning their opening matches, but Hull will be the team expecting to raise their game much further after edging past Wakefield. The Dragons have some key veterans in Luke Walsh and Richie Myler who started well last week but the hosts should have too much firepower for them in front of their passionate home fans.