For winless Toulouse, it doesn’t get much harder than this. They take on the unbeaten Champions as they still look for their first Super League win.
The French side have looked a lot better recently and back at home they may cause St Helens one or two problems.
But the Champions have been outstanding in the opening five games and, despite a few injuries, will likely maintain their perfect start to the season.
Toulouse could have Joseph Paulo back in the side after he was included in last week’s 21-man squad but did not feature as he returns from injury. He may replace on-loan Ellis Robson who serves a one match ban whilst Dominique Peyroux could play against his former side for the first time.
St Helens have lost Alex Walmsley, Sione Mata’utia and Joe Batchelor to injury leaving their pack set for great change. Will Hopoate’s injury plagued season continues with a knock from training set to keep him out. James Bell is also unavailable dropping out of the 21-man squad. Dan Norman is back after time on dual registration with Leigh Centurions.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Guy Armitage vs Konrad Hurrell: Guy Armitage has really caught the eye so far this season and is Toulouse’s top scorer. He may pose a unique challenge up against the St Helens defence especially if he finds himself up against Konrad Hurrell who is still adjusting to life with the Champions. However, in the opening four games, he looked back to his best and back from suspension will be hoping to cement a place in Kristian Woolf’s side.
Tony Gigot vs Jonny Lomax: Oddly, Tony Gigot has more individual honours than Jonny Lomax having picked up the 2018 Lance Todd Trophy. That perhaps shows Gigot’s ability to conjure something from nothing. However, it’ll be tough for him to get a look in against this Saints side especially if Lomax bosses the game as he often does.
Harrison Hansen vs Matty Lees: In the absence of Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees will be asked to step up and the underrated prop is certainly capable of doing so but against one of Toulouse’s most experienced players, he may find it tough at times.
Where the game will be won and lost:
On paper, there’s only one winner in this game. However, you never know in sport. With Alex Walmsley out alongside top performer Sione Mata’utia, things have gotten slightly easier for the French side. They have dangerous players so could surprise St Helens. That said, this Saints side are a well-oiled machine and they’ll just keep ticking over and will likely power past Toulouse as they do most sides.
Score Prediction: Toulouse Olympique 6-30 St Helens