Team news and perspectives since relegation battles climax and the play-off before Friday Super League games.
Richard Agar believes Leeds Rhinos have improvements to make after all sealing their place in Super League for 2020.
Sunday’s 36-10 win away to London Broncos signifies the Rhinos are four points clear at the side using 2 games of the regular season staying and using a points gap to the other sides near the foot of the table.
Head coach Agar is no doubt that his side may produce a display when Salford Red Devils and Headingley on Friday evening see with, but is pleased they’ve got themselves into a position that is more secure.
“Performance-wise there is a lot to improve , but dedication and defensive effort I thought was magnificent,” Agar said.
“We said pulling it together wasn’t likely to become an overnight fix, two or three chances missed and everyone else has won games to keep it a battle.
“I understand mathematically we’re still not secure but it is a reasonable old swing with two games and two other teams fighting each other.”
Agar has appointed an unchanged 19-man squad to the match with Salford, who are on a streak of six wins in Super League.
Red Devils head coach Ian Watson brings back George Griffin into the squad following his return from injury and Josh Wood is recalled to the 19.
Salford have been given a further boost with the information mid-season recruit Josh Johnson has agreed a contract.
“Josh has added a touch of grit to our pack and bought to the work ethic of the team,” Watson explained.
“We needed to move quickly to secure his services for next year, following his energetic performances caught the eyes of other Super League clubs.
“He is pleased to be staying with us and I am certain he’ll continue to improve and be a precious registering”
Leeds Rhinos 19-man team: Jack Walker, Konrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Richie Myler, Adam Cuthbertson, Trent Merrin, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Brett Ferres, Mikolaj Oledzki, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Cameron Smith, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Harry Newman, Ava Seumanufagai, Shaun Lunt, Robert Lui, Rhyse Martin
Salford Red Devils 19-man group: Niall Evalds, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Lee Mossop, Josh Wood, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick, Adam Walker, Greg Burke, Tyrone McCarthy, Logan Tomkins, Ken Sio, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings, Josh Johnson
Completing an unbeaten season is the purpose of St Helens on Friday night if they advised Huddersfield Giants to Totally Wicked Stadium.
The League Leaders’ Shield winners’ three defeats during the Super League regular season have come on the street, with their home floor showing something of a fortress.
Saints have not completed an unbeaten stretch at home since 2002, when they went on to win the Grand Final, and head coach Justin Holbrook knows his side should be on their guard against a Giants facet that eased their relegation fears with a 22-12 win off to Hull FC last week.
“We’ve been terrific there every week this year and we would like to keep that,” Holbrook said. “We have got to play well to beat Huddersfield on Friday.
“It was a fantastic win for them last week. They’re not in a great place in the desk, but they have shown to win and go at Hull they’ve got a dangerous side”
After missing Friday’s 4-0 win at home to Castleford Tigers dominique Peyroux and recent Great Britain call-up Lachlan Coote possibly come back.
Giants head coach Simon Woolford is without half-back Matt Frawley because of injury, therefore Tom Holmes comes back in their squad in his place. Aaron Murphy is replaced by adam Walne as well.
Huddersfield are still not safe from the threat of relegation, but the triumph over Hull place them in a place heading into the last two matches of the season.
“It is dependent on other games along with other effects, but it’s certainly aided our cause,” Woolford said. “It’s been a difficult year for quite a few reasons and those few wins have been few and far between.
“We will not be shutting up shop now, there’s still a major job to do and we ought to be sure we finish the seasons quite well.”
St Helens 19-man squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Danny Richardson, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Kyle Amor, Dominique Peyroux, Jack Ashworth, James Bentley, Lachlan Coote, Matty Costello
Huddersfield Giants 19-man group: Darnell McIntosh, Jermaine McGillvary, Lee Gaskell, Paul Clough, Kruise Leeming, Suaia Matagi, Alex Mellor, Michael Lawrence, Adam O’Brien, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jake Wardle, Tom Holmes, Adam Walne, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sam Hewitt, Louis Senior, Jon Luke Kirby, Oliver Wilson, Chester Butler
Blake Austin is utilized to create Warrington Wolves a return as they aim to end their run in Super League in your home to Wakefield Trinity on Friday.
Austin was ruled out for about a month with a knee ligament injury sustained in the defeat to Catalans Dragons ancient in August and overlooked the Wolves’ Challenge Cup final win.
However he’s just one of five players making a return to the 19-man team who were not engaged in last Thursday’s defeat to fellow play-off contenders Salford of Steve Price.
Wakefield head into the match at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on the back of a 24-16 defeat at home to Wigan Warriors last Sunday and having lost both of the games against Warrington much this year.
Trinity head coach Chris Chester has a lot of injury issues to contend with as well, with a trio of gamers all missing due to injuries sustained in the loss.
Bill Tupou, chris Annakin along with James Batchelor all mastered with Jordy Crowther George King and Titus Gwaze returning to the squad in their areas, and Chester is concerned the three could miss both of the staying games of Wakefield.
“It looks like it,” Chester said. “We have got a few cover there in Joe Arundel and George King and Jordy Crowther, so we’ve pretty much got that covered”
Warrington Wolves 19-man team: Sitaleki Akauola, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Smith, Lama Tasi
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: Joe Arundell, Danny Brough, Jordy Crowther, Anthony England, Morgan Escare, Chris Green, Titus Gwaze, Ryan Hampshire, Ben Jones-Bishop, Lee Kershaw, George King, Danny Kirmond, Craig Kopczak, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Tyler Randell, Adam Tangata, Kelepi Tanginoa, Kyle Wood
Adrian Lam knows there is plenty of effort for Wigan Warriors to perform as they aim to seal second place.
Last Sunday’s victory away to Wakefield watched the defending champions move ahead of a win at home to Catalans Dragons on Friday along with Warrington at the table would watch them have a step closer towards procuring that place.
However, Lam, who’s brought Harry Smith in for Amir Bourouh at the only change to his 19-man squad, warned his players they can’t manage to think the task is currently done.
“We’ve got a pretty tough two games coming in Catalans and Castleford at home, thus a great deal of work to perform, but I’m very happy for the team up to now,” Lam said.
“We’ve used specific words at particular times of the season, and confidence and perception are those we are pushing aggressively at the moment.
“As a group, if we get into a tight match, they feel in each other and if things get tight at the game over the next few weeks, I have total confidence we can get the result we deserve.”
Wigan conquer against Catalans 42-0 on the side’s last trip but the Dragons secured a memorable win from the historical game at Barcelona’s Nou Camp in May.
The guys of steve McNamara visit Wigan in tatters after Saturday defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers – .
The Perpignan-based outfit do, nevertheless, have Sam Tomkins available to face his former team and Alrix da Costa yields to the 19. Not included are Ben Garcia, David Mead Remi Casty, Tony Gigot, Fouad Yaha, Sam Moa and Jodie Broughton.
Wigan Warriors 19-man team: Joe Burgess, Liam Byrne, Tony Clubb, Liam Farrell, Bevan French, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Chris Hankinson, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Oliver Partington, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies, George Williams
Catalans Dragons 19-man team: Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Samisoni Langi, Michael McIlorum, Kenny Edwards, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Mickael Simon, Benjamin Julien, Matt Whitley, Alrix da Costa, Mickael Goudemand, Lambert Belmas, Lucas Albert, Antoni Maria, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Romano, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins
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