Super League preview: St Helens v Catalan Dragons
Last Updated: 15/03/14 8:12am
High-flying St Helens could make it five wins from five this season with success over strugglers Catalan Dragons at Langtree Park on Friday.
While Nathan Brown's men have been brushing aside everything standing in their way in 2014 it has been the opposite story for the Dragons who have yet to garner a point from their opening four fixtures.
Saints made light work of Hull KR last week although the Dragons have a decent recent record at Langtree Park having won on each of their last two trips to the Super League giants.
Brown brings prop forward Anthony Walker into his squad but promising centre Mark Percival remains sidelined with a leg injury. Captain Paul Wellens is set to make the 500th appearance of his career with Jon Wilkin bringing up 350.
"It is unfortunate the amount of players that they have not been able to use," Brown told the St Helens Star. "We can only look at the ones that are coming.
"They have a number of forwards in particular who have achieved in both countries - Jeff Lima, Zeb Taia and Lopini Paea and a number of those French blokes with a lot of experience.
"We can only prepare for what is coming - and although it is not at full strength, it is nonetheless a very capable team."
The Dragons are without 10 players through injury and suspension and have axed Brent Webb and Jamal Fakir following their fourth consecutive defeat at Wakefield.
Half-back Thomas Bosc and prop Mickael Simon return from injury and reserve front-rowers Gadwin Springer and Maxime Scimone are in line to make their Super League debuts.
It has been a difficult season so far for the Dragons and head coach Laurent Frayssinous expects a positive response from his troops in the wake of Sunday's thrashing at Wakefield.
"We talked a lot since our return to France. Decisions have been taken and we have to move now. I expect a reaction from players at St Helens," he told the club's official website.
St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Hohaia, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Richards, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Swift, Walker.
Catalan Dragons: Escare, Pryce, Oldfield, Bosc, Lima, Taia, Mounis, Barthau, Pelissier, Whitehead, Pala, Simon, Paea, Baitieri, Baile, Vaccari, Garcia, Springer, Scimone.
First Utility Super League
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield 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 2014, round five
Tony Rea reflects on the fine form of St Helens and Leeds and a heavy defeat for his London Broncos.
We look at who have been Super League's best and worst so far in the 2014 season.
Castleford full-back Jordan Tansey has been accused of making deliberate contact with a referee.
- Vikings sweat over Mellor
- A Saintly start
- Tigers pounce late once more
- Ruthless Giants blitz Bulls
- Attack pleases Agar
- Wildcats maul Broncos
- Koukash critical of displays
- Brown: Best win yet
- Patient Wolves please Smith
- Perfect Saints sink Dragons
- McDermott hails two-try hero
- Rhinos rip through Vikings
- Three and easy for Wolves
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Tigers v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wildcats: Teams
- Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
- Morley issues rallying cry
- Vea to make Broncos debut
- Red Devils v Wolves: Teams
- Warriors v Hull KR: Teams
- Rhinos v Vikings: Teams
- Powell may call on Webster
- Wane makes case for defence
- Rapira to miss Wolves clash
- Brown: Saints can improve