St Helens and Wakefield have stuttered so far in Super League, with Saints falling surprisingly to newly-promoted Leigh, and Trinity have put in, in captain Danny Kirmond’s words “60-minute performances.” Neither can afford a sub-par display on Friday night as wins will be harder to come by as other sides gain fitness and confidence.
St Helens team news and form
The Saints have lost Luke Douglas and exciting full-back Johnny Lomax to injury since their defeat to the Centurions. However, they welcome into the fold new signing Zeb Taia from Gold Coast Titans, as well as youngster Calvin Wellington.
Keiron Cunningham felt his side “should have won” last time out, but unfortunately, he may be the only one with those thoughts as the Red V were far off their best and looked completely out of it until Alex Walmsley’s try on 71 minutes, setting up a tighter than expected finish.
Against the Rhinos in week one, Saints looked solid and were unfortunate not to win by more had it not been for superb Leeds defence. They looked to have great depth on the bench, but against Leigh it was like that foundation had been taken away as they were easily beaten.
Wakefield Trinity team news and form
Chris Chester has made three changes to the team that narrowly lost out to Huddersfield Giants in the last round. He brings in Joe Arundel, youngster James Batchelor and Mason Caton-Brown could make his debut since his move from Salford Red Devils. Unfortunately, Ben Jones-Bishop misses out after suffering a head knock, along with Anthony Walker and Jordan Crowther.
Danny Kirmond summed up Wakefield’s season so far as a team putting in “60-minute performances.” He’s certainly right. Trinity have looked well-placed for victories in the first two rounds, only to lack that killer instinct in the latter part of games; meaning they sit on zero points, when they should have four.
Against both Hull FC and the Giants, Wakefield looked the better side only for silly errors or bad decision making when it came to the final third of the pitch.
Ones to watch and where the game will be won
Last round the Saints’ best performers on a regular basis didn’t show up, so I’ll be looking for a response from the likes of James Roby, Alex Walmsley and new boy Zeb Taia. The latter has a marker to set as he replaces highly-rated Joe Greenwood in the pack.
For Wakefield, they need a big performance from the halves as they look to finally close out a game. If they can do that with the likes of Jacob Miller and Sam Williams, then they should gain their first win of the season over an off-colour Saints outfit.
St Helens Squad: Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Adam Swift, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Adam Walker, Luke Thompson, Tommy Lee, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles, Jack Owens, Danny Richardson, Calvin Wellington and Zeb Taia.
Wakefield Trinity Squad: Scott Grix, Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Liam Finn, Anthony England, Kyle Wood, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond, Mikey Sio, Sam Williams, Ashley Gibson, Tinirau Arona, Craig Huby, Joe Arundel, David Fifita, Chris Annakin and James Batchelor.
Prediction: St Helens 18-25 Wakefield Trinity