The game of the evening, and perhaps, the weekend kicks off tonight with St Helens hosting Leeds Rhinos in a game that has been set up brilliantly following both sides previous match-ups.
Those games have both been settled by a margin of one point with Leeds getting a famous win at the Totally Wicked in controversial circumstances when they won 25-24 earlier this year.
It was just as close, if not closer, as the second clash at Headingley went to golden point and once again Lewis Dodd came up with a drop goal reminiscent of the one that won Saints the World Club Challenge and ironically it the Leeds victory came by the same scoreline of 13-12.
Now both teams face off tonight with Leeds knowing that a win will push them ever closer to the playoffs, whereas for St Helens a win solidifies their position for playoff rugby league.
Leeds Rhinos head in with the rest advantage but they’ll still be dismayed with their previous Super League performance which saw them fall to defeat courtesy of a Brad Schneider drop goal in golden point.
As for Saints, they couldn’t quite make it to golden point at the weekend in the Challenge Cup semi-final with Tommy Makinson’s missed conversion proving crucial as they lost 12-10 to Leigh.
Arguably the bigger loss was in personnel given that both Agnatius Paasi (ACL, MCL and damaged ankle ligaments) and Alex Walmsley (MCL) fell to season-ending injuries, whilst Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook is also out for this match with a two week injury.
Coupled with Sione Mata’utia’s suspension the Red Vee are short on experienced forwards this week and Paul Wellens has been forced to name
Fortunately Morgan Knowles passed fit and plays whilst Moses Mbye is set to debut from the bench with young George Delaney making his first competitive start.
😇 Here's how Saints line-up for this evening's clash with @LeedsRhinos.
A debut for Mbye off the bench, Delaney gets his first competitive Saints start and Norman and Baxter come into the 17!
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 28, 2023
As for Leeds Rhinos they’re a relatively healthy squad at the moment with long time absentees Harry Newman and Zane Tetevano still missing, but otherwise Rohan Smith has had plenty of options to pick from.
James McDonnell returns from suspension as a boost for the Rhinos.
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) July 28, 2023