Super League: St Helens v Wakefield Wildcats preview
Last Updated: 14/08/14 3:01pm
Wakefield Wildcats travel to Langtree Park to face Super League leaders St Helens on Friday knowing victory is essential to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Prior to the Tetley’s Challenge Cup break James Webster’s Wildcats had their knockout ambitions dented by defeat against Huddersfield Giants at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Wakefield now stand four points adrift of Widnes in the fight for the final playoff place with only four rounds of regular season action remaining, and a trip to face the league leaders could make or break their push for a top-eight finish.
Both Saints and the Wildcats enter Round 24 fresh from a week off with neither featuring in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, although both endured defeats in their most recent Super League outings.
St Helens slumped to a 19-12 reverse at the hands of 11th-placed Hull FC last time out, while Wakefield’s loss to Huddersfield saw their remarkable late-season charge stutter after victories against reigning champions Wigan Warriors, rivals Leeds Rhinos and 2013 Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves.
"The break has been beneficial for us as we've had some good training days," Saints coach Nathan Brown told the club’s official website.
"We have lost a number of players in key positions so we've had to look at the way we play.
“To be honest, having a weekend off has meant we can look at our structures and move people from some different positions to give us a better opportunity of doing well.”
Despite losing to the Airlie Birds before the break, Saints retain a two-point at the Super League summit, but will be keen to return to winning ways with Wigan, Leeds and Castleford Tigers all tied on points below them.
Brown has winger Adam Swift back at his disposal for the Wildcats clash, meaning there is no place for Luke Thompson in the 19-man squad.
Meanwhile, Australian coach Webster has made four changes to his Wildcats squad ahead of the trip to Langtree Park.
Wakefield are once again able to call upon the services of Dean Collis, Daniel Smith and Scott Anderson following their respective injuries, while Jon Molloy also returns to the travelling party.
After missing the defeat to Huddersfield Giants through injury, Richard Mathers is not named in the squad, while the injured Nick Scruton, Jimmy Keinhorst and the departed Richard Moore are the other players to make way.
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler, Dawson, Richards, McDonnell
Wakefield Wildcats: D. Smith, Riley, Kirmond, Collis, Sykes, Lauitiiti, Raleigh, McShane, Gilmour, Sammut, Washbrook, Jowitt, Owen, Anderson, T. Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Molloy, Wildie
First Utility Super League
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 24
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Hull FC boss Lee Radford conceded his side's playoff hopes had been extinguished after they lost 34-28 at Bradford.
Joe Grima has admitted that he was not expecting London to come back and win after going 22 points behind against Leeds.
- Anderson admits dire display
- Hull can't halt Bulls' charge
- In-form Giants stride on
- Broncos stun Rhinos
- Powell stands by Tigers selection
- Harris' high praise for Fages
- Saints run away from Wildcats
- Salford see off Dragons
- Wolves maul weakened Tigers
- Giants v Vikings: Teams
- Bulls v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Rhinos: Teams
- Chester: We were better team
- Wigan snatch point at Hull KR
- Red Devils v Dragons: Teams
- Wolves v Tigers: Teams
- Hull KR v Warriors: Teams