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St Helens vs Catalans Dragons

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Catalans Dragons are nearly at full strength for their trip to Langtree Park to take on St Helens looking to make it six wins on the trot.

The Dragons made it five consecutive victories when they beat Hull Kingston Rovers 40-0 at the KC Lightstream Stadium. Their victory was all the more impressive given they were missing key figures in Todd Carney, Paul Aiton, Justin Horo and Remi Casty.

But now all but Paul Aiton are included in their 19-man squad with the now fully fit trio replacing Morgan Escare, Antoni Maria and Stan Robin. Eloi Pelissier had been provisionally named in the side pending the disciplinary decision but the hooker has since been found guilty of a Grade B charge and suspended for two games.

Hosting the in-form French outfit, St Helens picked up their best result of the season last round beating table-toppers Warrington Wolves 25-22 away from home. The two points moved the Saints into mid-table and another victory would propel them into joint second – should results go in their favour.

Missing eight first-team players, Theo Fages inspired his side to battle back from 10-0 down to take the points in a bruising encounter.

Keiron Cunningham makes just one change to his side which sees Lama Tasi return in favour of Travis Burns who drops out of the squad.

St Helens: Jordan Turner, Luke Walsh, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lama Tasi, Greg Richards, Andre Savelio, Luke Thompson, Theo Fages, Matty Dawson, Jack Owens, Shannon McDonnell, Jack Ashworth, Morgan Knowles, Ricky Bailey, Jake Spedding

Catalans Dragons: Tony Gigot, Jodie Broughton, Krisnan Inu, Vincent Duport, Pat Richards, Todd Carney, Richie Myler, Louis Anderson, Remi Casty, Glenn Stewart, Justin Horo, Jason Baitieri, Dave Taylor, Julian Bousquet, Eloi Pelissier, Greg Mounis, Thomas Bosc, Olivier Elima, Willie Mason

Prediction: Catalans Dragons by 8

Published on April 14 2016 for Rugby AM.

Leeds Rhinos vs Hull FC

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Leeds Rhinos host one of the in-form teams of Super League when Hull FC make the relatively short journey to Headingley tonight.

The Black and Whites made it five wins on the bounce when they managed a 37-20 triumph over bottom of the table Huddersfield Giants. Hull FC ran in six tries including a brace from the impressive Jamie Shaul along with solo efforts from Josh Bowden, Liam Watts, Danny Houghton and Curtis Naughton.

If the club were to achieve another two points it would be the first time since their 2012 season that they have managed six wins on the spin.

Leeds Rhinos again picked up another defeat in round ten losing 14-10 away at Salford Red Devils. Should the Rhinos lose another game it would equal the amount of losses they sustained in the entire regular season last year.

The Red Devils established a 14-0 lead after tries from Logan Tomkins and Robert Lui along with a Michael Dobson penalty close to half-time. However late tries from Keith Galloway and Ashton Golding weren’t enough as the Rhinos slumped to another loss.

The troubles don’t seem to have stopped on the result front with Danny McGuire suffering a quad injury joining Ryan Hall (ankle), Tom Briscoe (shoulder), Joel Moon (groin), Adam Cuthbertson (elbow), Stevie Ward (knee), Josh Walters (ankle) and Brett Ferres (calf) on the sidelines.

Brett Delaney and Jimmy Keinhorst are included in their 19-man squad as is 17-year-old forward Cameron Smith.

Lee Radford has made two changes to his side seeing both Danny Washbrook and Leon Pryce return from injury in place of Carlos Tuimavave and Jansin Turgut.

Leeds Rhinos: Zak Hardaker, Kallum Watkins, Rob Burrow, Keith Galloway, Beau Falloon, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Liam Sutcliffe, Brett Delaney, Brad Singleton, Mitch Garbutt, Jimmy Keinhorst, Mitch Achurch, Anthony Mullally, Ash Handley, Ashton Golding, Jordan Baldwinson, Jordan Lilley, Cameron Smith

Hull FC: Josh Bowden, Mahe Fonua, Chris Green, Dean Hadley, Danny Houghton, Sika Manu, Steve Michaels, Curtis Naughton, Feka Paleaaesina, Leon Pryce, Jamie Shaul, Marc Sneyd, Fetuli Talanoa, Scott Taylor, Jordan Thompson, Liam Watts, Danny Washbrook, Kirk Yeaman

Prediction: Hull FC by 10

Published on April 15 2016 for Rugby AM.

Huddersfield Giants vs Warrington Wolves

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Round 11 pits bottom versus top as Huddersfield Giants host Warrington Wolves looking to kick start their season.

The Giants recorded their ninth defeat of the season, eclipsing the eight they managed last season, losing 37-20 against Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium. Said loss saw them come into this clash on the back of five consecutive defeats with the pressure mounting on Paul Anderson.

Anderson has made three changes to his side to take on the current league leaders with Kyle Wood, Tyler Dickinson and Sam Wood coming into the side replacing Eorl Crabtree, Larne Patrick and Gene Ormsby who is unable to feature against his parent club.

Warrington, who sit at the top by two points, head to the John Smith’s Stadium searching for their ninth win of the campaign and come into this on the back of a defeat losing 25-22 at home to St Helens.

Kevin Penny and Ryan Atkins saw the Wolves 10-0 to the good but Saints hit back through Kyle Amor who crashed over from close range. A Penny error, which saw the winger kick the ball out on the full at the restart, resulted in Jack Ashworth cross to level the scores with Luke Walsh adding the extras seeing the away side take the lead for the first time in the match. But just before half-time Ben Currie dived over with ten seconds of the half remaining.

Matty Dawson and Morgan Knowles capitalised both scoring tries in the second stanza to put Saints in the driving seat. Late efforts from Penny and Tom Lineham set up a pulsating finish but St Helens held on for the win.

Tony Smith makes two changes dropping Jordan Cox and Declan Patton in favour of Jack Johnson and Sam Wilde.

Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Joe Wardle, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Craig Huby, Michael Lawrence, Kyle Wood, Sam Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jake Connor, Josh Johnson, Kruise Leeming, Nathan Mason, Oliver Roberts, Tyler Dickinson, Sam Wood, Ryan Brierley

Warrington Wolves: Ryan Atkins, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Rhys Evans, Kurt Gidley, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Jack Johnson, Benjamin Jullien, George King, Tom Lineham, Kevin Penny, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Ashton Sims, Joe Westerman, Ben Westwood, Sam Wilde

Prediction: Warrington Wolves by 14

 Published on April 15 2016 for Rugby AM.

Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers

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Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane will use their 62-0 mauling by Wakefield Wildcats as motivation for the rest of the season starting with their home showdown against Castleford Tigers.

The Warriors suffered their heaviest league defeat for 11 years when the in-form Wildcats ran in 11 tries during their 80-minute battering last round – including a hat-trick from Jacob Miller whilst skipper Danny Kirmond and Nick Scruton both crossed twice.

That said Wigan were severely depleted by a bug ravaging their camp which saw just nine of 34 players attend their training on Thursday according to rugby director Kris Radlinski.

Wane said “I’ve never known a week like it in all my career – six players really shouldn’t have played but we had nobody else.” The defeat leaves Wigan in fourth place but crucially just two points off table toppers Warrington Wolves.

Wigan have been boosted by the return of props Dom Crosby and Ben Flower with the latter retuning earlier than expected after a hamstring injury.

Castleford meanwhile also had to deal with adversity when they took on Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.

Already missing a number of first-team players the Tigers found themselves 18-0 down after 20 minutes but fought their way back to secure a 34-24 victory thanks in large to a Denny Solomona hat-trick and a dominant second-half showing.

Gadwin Springer suffered a recurrence of a groin injury in their win over the Vikings to misses out through injury. Elsewhere youngsters Kieran Gill and Conor Fitzsimmons drop out with Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes and Jy Hitchcox returning to the 19-man squad.

Wigan Warriors: John Bateman, Joe Bretherton, Greg Burke, Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb, Dom Crosby, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Nick Gregson, Jack Higginson, Willie Isa, Lee Mossop, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Joel Tomkins

Castleford Tigers: Ryan Boyle, Matt Cook, Luke Gale, Ryan Hampshire, Jy Hitchcox, Oliver Holmes, Tom Holmes, Lee Jewitt, Andy Lynch, Will Maher, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Denny Solomona, Jake Webster

Prediction: Castleford Tigers by 6

Published on April 15 2016 for Rugby AM.

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