RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) returns with two fancies from Friday night’s Super League action.
Warrington Wolves v St Helens | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports
The second game of the weekend sees St Helens travel to Warrington Wolves. Since a change of management, the Saints form has been very Jekyll and Hyde.
Narrow defeats away to Wigan and Widnes have been mixed in with victories over Castleford and last weekend’s opponents Leigh.
Should a victory be secured, it will be only the second time this season St Helens have recorded back-to-back victories this season. The first ironically was when they backed up a solid win over Catalans with a comfortable 31-6 home victory over the Wolves in March.
Last weekend’s defeat to Hull brought an end to a five-match unbeaten run for Warrington. After a disastrous start to the season, in which they lost their opening six games, manager Tony Smith seems to have steadied the ship and new signing Kevin Brown is starting to find the form that gained England recognition last season.
Key players unavailable
St Helens are missing both Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival with the latter likely to be a significant absence.
Goal kicker Percival has contributed 32 of the 68 points (47%) the Saints have accumulated in the last three games and whilst the majority of these points have been with the boot, the lack of an alternative kicker could prove pivotal.
Late withdraws from the England squad has meant Warrington are now without three players rather than just Chris Hill as originally thought as Stefan Ratchford and Kevin Brown have now travelled Down Under to join Hill.
Furthermore, injuries to Joe Westerman and the lack of match fitness facing squad replacements Dom Crosby, Daryl Clarke and Ben Westwood, the Wolves are left with a big selection headache.
Nevertheless, with the international call ups for each team being almost even, a tight affair is expected. Home advantage could be just enough to swing it and Warrington should pip the Saints with a -2 handicap at 11/10 (Bet365)
Rhys Evans was one of the few players to come away from the defeat to Hull with any praise.
His combination play with winger Matty Russell was Warrington’s best form of attack and in a tight game, SkyBet offer of 7/4 for him to score seems generous.