Super League: London Broncos v St Helens preview
Last Updated: 18/07/14 2:06pm
St Helens will look to maintain their spot at the Super League summit when they travel to face the relegated London Broncos on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Brown’s Saints enter Round 21 with a one-point advantage over second-place Leeds Rhinos, while Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers are all only two points adrift as the battle to claim the League Leaders' Shield intensifies.
At the opposite end of the table, the Broncos had their relegation confirmed after Warrington Wolves inflicted a 20th successive Super League defeat on the capital club last Sunday.
A 72-12 reverse spelt the end of the road for Joe Grima’s side and it is also a result that means there will be no capital involvement in rugby league’s flagship tournament next term.
Meanwhile, Saints retained their Super League lead with 46-22 triumph over the beleaguered Bradford Bulls at Langtree Park last time out.
Veteran Paul Wellens scored twice while Lance Hohaia, James Roby, Mose Masoe, Tommy Makinson, Adam Swift and Mark Percival all crossed as the Saints raced to an emphatic victory.
While the Broncos are winless in the 2014 edition of the tournament, honours were even last term, with the Londoners prevailing on home soil. Even though the Broncos are down Brown remains wary.
“I suppose the fact that they are down in some ways can present a challenge because it frees some of the burden and pressure,” he told the St Helens Star.
“They can chance their hand a bit more. As a whole - most of the games London have played this year they have generally fought hard and given themselves a chance.
“Credit to Joey Grima and the players because they have hung in for each other.”
Saints coach Brown has made two changes to his preliminary squad ahead of the trip to the capital, with Anthony Laffranchi and Matty Dawson both returning.
Adam Swift and Greg Richards are the men to make way as the Saints go in search of back-to-back wins following their Round 19 slip against Hull KR.
Meanwhile, London Broncos forward Atelea Vea will not get the chance to impress his new employers after being suspended for striking during the Broncos’ defeat at Warrington last Sunday.
Tongan Vea, who will join Saints next season, will sit out the visit of Brown’s men, but team-mate Olsi Krasniqi retains his place in the Broncos squad after admitting a lesser charge.
Loanee James Cunningham has returned to parent club Hull FC but Grima is boosted by the return of Oscar Thomas, who rejoined the club earlier in the week and comes straight into the 19-man squad.
Mike McMeeken, James Woodburn-Hall and Joe Keyes are also called into the squad whole Illies Macani misses out.
London Broncos: Atkins, Cook, Dollapi, Drinkwater, Farrar, Foster, Griffin, Krasniqi, Keyes, Lovell, McMeeken, Minns, Moore, Slyney, Solomona, Thomas, Wallace, Wicks, Woodburn-Hall
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler, Dawson, Thompson
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan 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 2014, round 21
Who has kicked the most goals this season? Which player is penalised the most? Find out here...
Iestyn Harris was delighted with the way Salford turned things around to defeat Hull KR at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
Bradford's relegation from Super League was confirmed when they suffered a 52-26 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield.
- Brown purrs at Saints display
- Saints stroll past Broncos
- Lowes has plans for Bradford
- Betts thrilled with Widnes
- Radford left embarrassed
- Warrington stunned by Widnes
- Rovers v Red Devils: Teams
- Giants v Bulls: Teams
- Sinfield off as Leeds draw
- Dragons v Wildcats: Teams
- Vikings v Wolves: Teams
- Warriors v Hull FC: Teams
- Hardaker set for return
- Vea to sit out Saints clash