After last Friday’s victory over Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones, Saints return to the Totally Wicked Stadium to face the Leeds Rhinos this Friday 16th March (7:45pm)
Worryingly for Saints, Alex Walmsley missed out with the neck injury he suffered in the Warrington clash – an injury that at the time seemed fairly innocuous, Justin Holbrook was a guest on the Rugby League on Talksport2 show on Wednesday and said, “its not good news…he needs more scans. I don’t expect him to be playing anytime soon”. It sounds at this moment that it’s all a little bit wait and see…. fingers crossed it isn’t anything too serious, not only for the club’s benefit, but also for Alex’s own personal wellbeing.
In the short term, the injury to Walmsley sees Jon Wilkin take his place back in the 19 man squad after missing out on the trip to Warrington with concussion. Based on Holbrook’s mantra of ‘what isn’t broke don’t fix’, then its difficult to see any changes except those enforced, so Matty Smith and Ryan Morgan are both likely to continue waiting for their chance.
If you’re looking for milestones, Tommy Makinson needs two tries to reach a century of touchdowns – he’s scored 98 tries in 172 games since 2011, whilst Captain James Roby needs one try to reach a century of touchdowns also.
Leeds early season form may look mixed, but they remain in the hunt with 3 wins from 4 in the league. After looking good in their opening fixture against Warrington, they followed this up with a hard fought win over Hull KR at Elland Road. The WCC was a huge disappointment as they suffered a 38-4 defeat to Melbourne, and this was backed up the following week with a 23-6 loss to Widnes. Whilst defence was excellent to keep the Vikings at bay in the first half, the eleven missing first team regulars took its toll. The Rhinos bounced back last week with a 20-16 victory over Hull FC.
Prop Mitch Garbutt is ruled out with a knee injury suffered in last Thursday’s game and is replaced in the 19 man squad is taken by Cameron Smith (no, not that one!!), whilst former Warrington hooker Brad Dwyer returns after missing the win over Hull.
Head to Head clashes between Super League’s two most successful teams is extremely tight, with Saints recording 33 victories against Leeds 31, and with that in mind you’d expect this to be a tight one… but again we see Saints winning with this without hitting top gear – Saints by 14.
19 man squads:
1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba.
1. Ashton Golding, 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Joel Moon, 7. Richie Myler, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Brad Singleton, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 12. Carl Ablett, 14. Brad Dwyer, 15. Brett Delaney, 16. Anthony Mullally, 22. Ash Handley, 23. Jack Ormondroyd, 24. Jack Walker, 27. Cameron Smith, 28. Mikolaj Oledzki, 30. Josh Walters.
Referee: James Child
Kick off: 7:45pm