Warrington Wolves v St Helens: Super League preview
Last Updated: 08/03/13 7:14pm
Warrington Wolves and St Helens meet at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday with both sides looking to get back to winning ways.
The Wolves suffered their first Super League defeat last week, going down 26-12 at Hull KR, to drop to fourth place in the table.
Coach Tony Smith is boosted by the return to fitness of centre Chris Bridge for the first time this season after knee surgery. Bridge has been included in the initial 19-man squad and will have a late fitness check before a decision on his participation is made.
The Monaghan brothers, Michael and Joel, are also back after missing the Rovers defeat with minor injuries but their fellow Australian Trent Waterhouse remains sidelined with a strained glute.
England international centre Ryan Atkins will be making his 100th appearance for the club.
"There's a lot of rivalry between the two clubs which usually brings out the best in the teams and hopefully that will be the case this week," Smith told Warrington's official website.
"Both teams are probably looking for some form and consistency, hopefully a big occasion of playing each other will help that. I think it will be a very hard-fought, tough game - at this stage of the year that's the way rugby league's got to be played. Hopefully we'll come out on the right side of a good performance."
St Helens also come into the game on the back of a defeat, in their case a 20-12 home loss to reigning champions Leeds Rhinos.
They will again be without skipper Paul Wellens due to a calf problem, while half-back Gary Wheeler has been ruled out for four months after rupturing a hamstring tendon against Leeds.
New Zealander Lance Hohaia has recovered sufficiently from the shoulder problem that has kept him out of the last three matches to be named in the initial 19-man squad and second rower Mark Flanagan is available again after a concussion.
"I've watched it (Saints' rivalry with Warrington) a lot over the past few years and seen some great games - some that Saints have won and some that Warrington have won, but generally they have been very, very good games. To be a part of it now makes it even more exciting," Saints coach Nathan Brown told St Helens TV.
"We'll go there confident we are moving in the right direction and, if we can play a bit better than we did the other night, that would be great."
Warrington squad: Atkins, Bridge, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Evans, Grix, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, Laithwaite, McCarthy, J Monaghan, M Monaghan, Myler, Ratchford, Riley, Westwood, Wood
St Helens squad: Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Clough, Jones, Greenwood, Walmsley, Walker, Percival
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, round six
Hull FC star Kirk Yeaman has been ruled out for six weeks because of a broken thumb.
Huddersfield returned to winning ways while there were also wins for Wigan, Saints, Hull FC and KR.
A late drop goal from Paul Sykes earned Wakefield a dramatic 23-23 draw with Salford at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
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- Johnson refuses to blame ref
- Gentle: Performance of pride
- Wane purring after Wigan win
- Brown: The best so far
- Anderson: Attitude was good
- Betts slams ref over Hock red
- Giants stay a-Head at the top
- Wigan hammer sorry Dragons
- Airlie Birds soar over Tigers
- Saints smother tame Wolves
- Vikings battle back for draw
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