Huddersfield (H) – Round 6 Match Preview Phil Jones 4th March 2020 2020 Match Previews, 2020 Season The Saints got back on the horse with a comfortable 32-0 win at a freezing cold HJ Stadium on Saturday evening against Toronto. The Saints dominated the game from start to finish in awful weather conditions and stuck to a very simple game plan of dominating the field position, kicking well and the weight of pressure told on the Wolfpack line eventually. Jonny Lomax put in another majestic performance to pick up the Man of the Match award as he danced his way to two very good 1st half tries – albeit it against some weak defence – and is showing the same kind of form he showed in 2019. He is without doubt our key man at the moment especially in the absence of Lachlan Coote, who has been recovering from a knee injury suffered in round one. The only negative to the victory was the injury to James Bentley who picked up an ankle injury in the 1st half. Whilst Bentley is not naturally a Centre he put in a very accomplished performance in the absence of the injured Mark Percival, so it’s a loss to lose him for a few weeks. He’s certainly a player that is forcing his way into the starting 17 now, so to lose him for a few weeks is disappointing and a blow for him. It’ll be Saints 1st home game in the league since the opening game of the season due to the World Club Challenge game forcing the Catalans game to be moved to later in the season. Our Opponents This week’s opponents are the Huddersfield Giants, who were unbeaten until they faced Wigan on Sunday. They were ahead for a period in that game, but the turning point occurred when Aiden Sezer was sin binned and Wigan took control during that period and never relinquished it. Huddersfield have started the season more brightly than previously and do look a much better side in 2020. Sezer appears to have given their halves a bit more of a clinical edge and his combination with Lee Gaskell could be an exciting partnership this season, if they stay fit. 21 Man Squads St Helens Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, LMS, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth, Joseph Paulo, Matty Costello, Jack Welsby, Josh Simm, Lewis Dodd Huddersfield Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Jordan Turner, Darnell McIntosh, Lee Gaskell, Aidan Sezer James Gavet, Adam O’Brien, Kenny Edwards, Joe Wardle, Michael Lawrence, Oliver Wilson, Aaron Murphy, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Tom Holmes, Oliver Russell, Innes Senior, Sam Hewitt, Sam Wood, Jon Luke Kirby Referee – G. Hewer Kick Off – Friday 6th March, 7:45pm Kick Off Venue – The Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens Weather Forecast Another cold night in prospect as temperatures are likely to be as low as 5 degrees. Light rain is expected throughout the day, which inevitably means it will be throwing it down come kick off. Head to Head Last 6 games – Saints 5 wins, Huddersfield 1 win Last meeting – Saints 48 – 6 Huddersfield, Totally Wicked Stadium, Att. 9,580. The Saints a good record over the Giants having won the last four. The last win for Huddersfield was at the Totally Wicked Stadium back in 2018 when the Giants picked up a shock 16-12 win against the high-flying Saints. Key Battles Theo Fages v Aiden Sezer – Sezer is Huddersfield’s marquee player and has a big impact on everything Huddersfield do. They fell to pieces with him off the field against Wigan last week, he is that crucial to their attack. Fages is quietly going about his business in 2020, flying under the radar of Jonny Lomax currently. His role is under rated at Saints though and his ability to run to the line, commit defenders and provide a steady hand allows Lomax and Coote to flourish. James Roby v Adam O’Brien – Roby is still a world class player at the age of 34 years of age and his return to the side in recent weeks has given us a calmness and crisp distribution from dummy half that we were lacking in the 1st three weeks of the season. O’Brien is a player that impresses me whenever I see him. He’s a steady competitor but has an eye for a gap from dummy half and has bagged two tries already this season. Prediction Saints will be looking to continue their good league form and put another dent in Huddersfield’s early season charge. Our defence is the most encouraging aspect at the moment and we are currently averaging just 11.25 points conceded per game. Our attack hasn’t quite clicked into full gear yet, but it doesn’t have to with defence like that and providing we continue that defensive effort, we can find our way into attacking form. I think our forwards in particular will be too strong for Huddersfield and that will give our backs opportunities. Saints by 18.