SL Preview: Huddersfield Giants v St Helens

Struggling St Helens travel to Huddersfield looking for a win to kick-start their season.

Injury-hit Saints have won just one of their last seven games and find themselves just outside of the play-offs as round 17 of the 2013 Super League season draws to a close.

It’s a stark contrast to Huddersfield, who sit second and have recorded eight wins in their last nine games. The Giants also have a Challenge Cup quarter-final tie with Warrington to look forward to.

Joe Wardle is back in Huddersfield’s 19-man squad after serving a two-game suspension. The youngster was forced to sit out the Giants’ last two games because of a punching ban. Coach Paul Anderson will be without Jason Chan, though, after the backrower rupturing a bicep in the Magic Weekend win against Bradford.

St Helens coach Nathan Jones is boosted by the return to fitness of James Roby. Hooker Roby has been out of action with an ankle injury for over two months, a period that has seen Saints win just three Super League matches. Francis Meli and Paul Wellens also make the squad after injury and suspension respectively while new signing Gareth O’Brien, on-loan from Warrington, could make his debut against Huddersfield.

Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta’ai, Murphy, Cording, Ferguson, Mullally, Dwyer.

St Helens 19-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Greenwood, Walmsley, Percival, Thompson, O’Brien.

Prediction: Saints should put up a good fight but Huddersfield to pile more misery on Nathan Brown’s men – Huddersfield win.

Super League summary:

Huddersfield won 6

St Helens won 28 (includes wins in 2009 & 2010 play-offs)

Huddersfield highest score: 40-18 (H, 2011); 40-4 (A, 2013) (Widest margin: 40-4, A, 2013)

St Helens highest score: 68-18 (H, 1998) (Widest margin: 68-18, H, 1998; 54-4, H, 2007)

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