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
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield Giants24 - 24Leeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC24 - 20Salford Red Devils
St Helens44 - 4Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors60 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves22 - 20Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers36 - 28Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red DevilsvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
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