St Helens vs Warrington Wolves: Team news, match preview and score prediction

St Helens and Warrington renew their long rivalry on Friday night with the Wolves looking to end the champions perfect start to the new season.

Kristian Woolf’s side have been faultless in the opening four games of the season, winning all of them while scoring 128 points and only conceding 26 in the process.

Life under Daryl Powell was going swimmingly for the Wire up until last weekend when their 100 percent start came to a halt against Catalans, marking the end of the honeymoon period under the new Warrington boss.

Team News

It’s mixed news for St Helens with electric Welsh winger Regan Grace still out after injuring himself in pre-season. Elsewhere, Tongan centre Konrad Hurrell is suspended but the Saints are able to welcome back Curtis Sironen who missed last week’s convincing win at Hull KR through suspension.

Warrington will also be missing a couple of key players following the controversial suspensions of Josh Charnley and Matt Davis. Charnley’s ban in particular has caused some major discussion on social media, but it does pave the way for youngster Jack Darbyshire to be included in the squad. Rob Butler replaces Davis.

Match Preview – Key battles:

Jonny Lomax vs Gareth Widdop: Two players hopeful of taking the no.6 shirt for England come the end-of-season World Cup, both Lomax and Widdop have started the season in fine form. This will be a key battle in this game, with the man who can produce the better pass-selection and kicking game likely to end up on the winning team.

Alex Walmsley vs Joe Bullock: Two huge men coming into battle is what we love to see in rugby league. This is a clash of arguably the two form props in the competition right now and there is no question Bullock has what it takes to hold his own against Walmsley. These two will bring the fireworks down the middle in this game and it will be interesting to see who can gain the edge over the other.

Morgan Knowles vs Jack Hughes: These two really are unsung heroes of their respective teams. The work both Knowles and Hughes does often goes under the radar, but boy is it effective. Both strong runners and tireless workers in defence, be confident in knowing that the two no.13’s will be instrumental for their team at both ends of the pitch on Friday night.

Where the game will be won and lost:

Saints are the reigning champions, they are top of the league and without doubt have been the best team in the competition so far this season. With that in mind you will have most predicting a home win here, but Warrington always raise their game to play St Helens. The Wolves have produced some memorable wins in Saints backyard down the years and there is nothing more the Wire faithful would enjoy than ending the Red Vee’s 100 percent start. Despite St Helens’ strong start to the campaign, you still feel they have another few gears to go up and their ability to produce in big matches over the last few seasons means it is hard to back against them. Warrington know they have to be better than last week, and they almost certainly will be, but they will need to raise their game quite a few levels, especially in the forwards. This will be an absolute cracker of a game with the champions coming out on top.

Score prediction: St Helens 24-18 Warrington Wolves

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Graham Codd
5 months ago

Already beginning to look like a one-horse race this season, I can’t see Wigan, Catalans, Huddersfield or Warrington getting within 20 points a match of St Helens now they are into their stride. St Helens 34: Warrington 10.

Last edited 5 months ago by Graham Codd