Super League Preview: St Helens v Castleford

Lance Hohaia has been recalled to the St Helens squad for Monday’s visit of Castleford.

The Kiwi international sat out the derby defeat to Wigan with a groin injury, and should slot back in to a half-back role alongside Jon Wilkin.

Saints are still without Jonny Lomax, James Roby and Tony Puletua, and back-rower Willie Manu has joined the injury list following Friday’s game.

The only other change sees Joe Greenwood come in for Anthony Walker, while Stuart Howarth is set to make his home debut, after signing on loan from Salford last week.

Castleford meanwhile are to make full use of their squad over the Easter period, with players who have been out on dual-registration getting their chance in the Tigers first team.

Coach Ian Millward said: “I want all of our squad to play over Easter so everyone will play.

“There are players like Steve Nash, who’s been at Dewsbury Rams, and Dan Fleming, who’s been at Batley Bulldogs, who will both play in Monday’s trip to St Helens while James Clare will get another opportunity.

“I’m also really pleased with the progress of young Charlie Martin – he’s only young and has been out of the game for 18 months but we want to reward him for his rehabilitation and hard-work to get back playing so he’ll also play on Monday.”

St Helens 19-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Perry, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Ashe, Greenwood, Walmsley, Percival, Howarth.

Castleford 19-man squad: Carney, Shenton, Dixon, Chase, Walker, Clark, Huby, Hauraki, Emmitt, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Nash, Fleming, Clare, Martin, Mason.

Prediction: St Helens will be eager to bounce back from Friday’s derby defeat at Wigan – home win.

Stats:

St Helens have won their last nine meetings with Castleford. The Tigers’ last win against the Saints was 30-24 at The Jungle (as it was then known) on 6 April, 2008.

Castleford are seeking their first summer era away win at St Helens on Monday afternoon (and first victory in 22 games overall). In the 16 visits they made to Knowsley Road between 1996 and 2010, the Tigers were defeated on 15 occasions.

The closest they got to a summer victory at Saints’ old home came with a 32-32 draw on 13 September, 1998.  

The Tigers also lost, 22-20, at Widnes in 2011 and 44-12 at Langtree Park in 2012.

Castleford’s last win at St Helens was 12-8 in the third round of the Regal Trophy on 19 December, 1992. Their last league win was 29-16 on 21 October, 1990.

Super League summary:

St Helens won 28 (includes win in 1999 play-offs)
Castleford won 4
1 draw
St Helens highest score: 72-4 (A, 2006) (also widest margin)
Castleford highest score: 36-22 (H, 2002) (Widest margin: 35-16, H, 1997)

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