This weekend we see big games between Warrington Wolves and Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants and of course a clash between the top two as Wigan Warriors head over to to Catalans Dragons.
But crucially, at the bottom two clubs are looking to respond to a huge result last week: Wakefield Trinity’s defeat to Castleford Tigers.
The Fords face the Super League and World Champions St Helens this Friday at the Jungle as they look to pull away from Wakefield Trinity at the foot of the table.
Castleford came away with a massive win against local rivals Wakefield last week, which has given them the upper hand in the relegation scrap; but whilst the result was important, the performance was noticeably better than previous weeks. Danny Ward looks to have made an instant impact on this Castleford side, but it will be a tough ask against a St Helens side pushing for the League Leaders Shield.
Saints have been in imperious form lately. Since their heartbreak in the Challenge Cup semi-final, they have won their last four matches and will be hoping to make it five in a row against a side they have already beaten twice this season. They currently sit four points behind Catalans, but a win would really boost their chances.
Saints were also victorious last time out by defeating Hull KR 28-6 at The Totally Wicked Stadium thanks to scores from Sione Mata’utia, Ben Davies, Moses Mbye, and a Tommy Makinson brace.
Friday will mark the third occasion the pair have met this season with the Tigers keen to take their first victory against the Saints after suffering home and away losses to Paul Wellens’ pack so far in 2023.
Ward has made two changes to the line-up that was selected last week with Brad Martin and Will Tate replacing Nathan Massey and Jack Broadbent who suffered knocks last time out.
🐅 Squad for Saints 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱
— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) August 23, 2023
As for St Helens, Head Coach Paul Wellens names the same 21 men who were declared for the fixture against the Robins.
In his weekly press conference, the Red V boss revealed that Konrad Hurrell has returned to training with the team and could be in contention for selection, but he is not named in this week’s squad. This is of course a disappointment.
Matty Lees will serve the final match of his two-game suspension and should return to be available for next week’s away game at Wakefield Trinity.
⚪ 𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗗 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🔴
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) August 23, 2023