In a big game in any season, a struggling Warrington side host Champions St Helens.
The Saints bounced back last week after being dumped out of the cup at the semi-final stage and they will be hoping to cement their place at the top with a win over the Wolves here.
As for Daryl Powell’s men, they’re in desperate need of a boost and a win over the Champions would certainly deliver.
The big news for the Wolves is the possible return of Gareth Widdop to the side. Josh Thewlis, after a recent run of form, has been ruled out through injury whilst Josh Charnley is left out after the Wolves confirmed he would not be given a new deal. Danny Walker is also absent whilst academy prop Luke Thomas could debut.
The Saints are still without Will Hopoate, Regan Grace and Lewis Dodd. There’s one change to the squad with Dan Hill coming in for Jumah Sambou.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Matty Ashton vs Tommy Makinson: We’ve seen some brilliant moments from speedster Matty Ashton but coming up against Tommy Makinson will be a test. Ashton will hope to leave a legacy like that of Makinson as he develops but certainly has the pace to match Makinson’s strike power now at the start of his career.
Peter Mata’utia vs Sione Mata’utia: What an interesting tussle this should be. Sione Mata’utia, before injury, was one of the league’s top performers at second-row but last week had to shift to centre last week and he’ll be up against his very skillful and illusive brother who is a natural centre. Should be a great battle.
Gareth Widdop vs Jonny Lomax: After a strong season in 2021, Gareth Widdop has struggled to find his feet under Daryl Powell but back in the side he could help dictate the game for the Wolves but he will be up against the ultimate maestro in Jonny Lomax who will look to boss this affair.
Daryl Clark vs James Roby: When these two come up against each it’s always special. Two former Man of Steels and England internationals with slightly different brands of rugby, the winner of this battle could decide this game.
Where the game will be won and lost:
When Warrington have caused St Helens problems over the past few years they’ve been like a sponge; absorbing Saints pressure and hitting them with some expansive rugby. They scored some lovely tries against them in this fixture last year as they attempted to do so. But should they allow the Saints pack to dominate they may struggle.
Score Prediction: Warrington Wolves 10-28 St Helens