St Helens vs Catalans Dragons Preview
13th Jul 2017 by TSZ
- St. Helens came out on top in an error-strewn game against Hull FC last week to stay in touch with the top 4 as the business end of the season closes in.
- Justin Holbrook makes just a single change to his squad with Jon Wilkin returning from suspension. Adam Swift is the man who he replaces in the 19-man squad.
- Saints' home form has been imperious, losing just one of their last 16 Super League matches on home soil, with them also winning four of the last five at home against the Dragons.
Head Coach: Justin Holbrook
Squad: Kyle Amor, Luke Douglas, Theo Fages, Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Tommy Lee, Matty Lees, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Dominique Peyroux, Danny Richardson, James Roby, Zeb Taia, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley, Jon Wilkin
Unavailable: Ben Barba (Suspended), Matty Smith (Eye), Jack Ashworth (Injured), Adam Swift
- Catalans fell to a disappointing defeat at home to Wigan last weekend. Despite being behind by just four points at half-time, the French side fell away in the second half and were comfortably beaten, a result that confirmed that the Dragons would have to compete in the Middle 8s.
- Steve McNamara has rung the changes with new loan signings Romain Navarrete and Lewis Tierney going straight into the squad along with Greg Bird, Fouad Yaha and Richie Myler. Bird and Yaha have served their one-match bans with Myler recovering from a shoulder knock.
- As Catalans head into the Middle 8s to try and preserve their Super League status, they will be looking to improve their away form, having lost their last five on the road and conceding at least 24 points in each of these games in the process.
Head Coach: Steve McNamara
Squad: Paul Aiton, Lucas Albert, Louis Anderson, Jason Baitieri, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Jodie Broughton, Remi Casty, Alrix Da Costa, Vincent Duport, Tony Gigot, Justin Horo, Krisnan Inu, Thibaut Margalet, Sam Moa, Richie Myler, Romain Navarrete, Lewis Tierney, Luke Walsh, Fouad Yaha
Unavailable: Ben Garcia (Suspended), Luke Burgess (Knee), Thomas Bosc (Injured), Mickael Simon (Injured), Iain Thornley (Injured), Brayden Wiliame (Injured), Jodie Broughton (Injured)
Analysis - what to expect
Saints have managed to grind some narrow wins out recently and have left themselves with a chance to really apply pressure on the top 4. They won't end the regular season in a top 4 place but will feel they have enough to challenge come the Super 8s. Catalans on the other hand have been inconsistent all season and now face a battle to remain in Super League. Their away form is a huge concern but travelling to St. Helens to try and build some form isn't ideal, with Saints proving their credentials on home soil not just this season but going back into last year too. It's that form coupled with Catalans' away form that should see Saints come out on top here.
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