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08 Jun 2017 by TSZ

St Helens vs Widnes Vikings Preview

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The Lowdown

ST HELENS

  • St. Helens led for the vast majority of the game against table-toppers Castleford last Sunday but fell to a late, narrow defeat when Tom Holmes crossed for the Tigers with nine minutes left.
  • Justin Holbrook names the same squad for the second week running with the Saints boasting a fully-fit squad. Theo Fages may come back into the 17 after he was rested last weekend.
  • The loss to Cas was the first for Holbrook since he took over after previous wins against Wigan and Hull. A return to home soil will be welcome for Saints with them winning 11 of their previous 13 league games at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Head Coach: Justin Holbrook

Squad: Kyle Amor, Luke Douglas, Theo Fages, Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Tommy Lee, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Dominique Peyroux, James Roby, Matty Smith, Adam Swift, Zeb Taia, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley, Jon Wilkin

Unavailable:

WIDNES VIKINGS

  • Widnes climbed off bottom spot in the Super League table after beating Catalans at home last Sunday, backing up their victory over Leeds in their previous game.
  • Denis Betts is without Chris Bridge who picked up a suspension in the Catalans win, with Rhys Hanbury also a casualty. Eamon O'Carroll and Danny Craven have both been named in the squad after recovering from injuries.
  • Widnes will attempt to win three games on the spin for the first time this season knowing a win could leave them just two points off the top 8 by the end of the weekend.

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Jack Buchanan, Hep Cahill, Jay Chapelhow, Rangi Chase, Danny Craven, Gil Dudson, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince, Jordan Johnstone, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Eamon O'Carroll, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Matt Whitley, Sam Wilde

Unavailable: Chris Bridge (Suspended), Patrick Ah Van (Achilles), Joe Mellor (Injured), Tom Armstrong (Injured), MacGraff Leuluai (Injured), Chris Dean (Injured), Tom Gilmore (Injured), Lloyd White (Injured), Greg Burke (Injured), Rhys Hanbury (Injured)


Analysis - what to expect
After a disappointing late defeat to Castleford last week, St. Helens' top 8 status is by no means secured and they now come up against a side who will hope they have turned the corner after consecutive wins. Widnes will be confident going into this game despite heading to a ground where Saints have a good record as well as dominating previous meetings between the two. Widnes have fallen to defeat in 11 of the last 14 meetings between the two sides but head into this one knowing a win would keep their own top 8 hopes alive, as well as piling the pressure on their opponents. Saints should return to winning ways in this one but may be pushed close and it wouldn't be beyond Widnes to snatch the win.

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