Thursday’s Super League talking points

It is a major clash in the Super League on Thursday night as the Warrington Wolves take on local rivals St Helens; watch Warrington Wolves host St Helens in the Round 13 opener live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm on Thursday (8pm kick-off)

Last Updated: 17/05/22 7:52pm

St Helens came away 20-8 victors the last time the two local rivals faced each other earlier this Super League season.
St Helens came away 20-8 victors the last time the two local rivals faced each other earlier this Super League season.

We look at what is being said and team news ahead of the local rivalry match up between the Warrington Wolves and St Helens.

Separated by just nine miles, the Warrington Wolves and St Helens have established a rivalry that always brings an exciting encounter in Super League and Thursday’s match should be no different.

In what could be a crucial match for the Wolves side, they will be without Joshua Charnley and Danny Walker on Thursday evening as they look to back bounce from a heavy defeat to the Catalans Dragons.

However, they will be strengthened by the return of Gareth Widdop who had missed three matches for Warrington with a glute injury, but looks set to return to face the current league leaders.

The clash will also see brothers Peter Mata’utia and Sione Mata’utia face off against one another and it is a match-up that the Warrington centre relishes, even if their mother does not.

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Highlights of the match between Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves in the Super League.
Highlights of the match between Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves in the Super League.

“I don’t like him that much this week. But it’s great to have him over here,” said Peter Mata’utia.

“He’s still young and he’s in a great system. I love seeing him happy.

“My mum hates how we play against each other, but I’ve always said to him whoever is on the opposite side of the field is my friend.

“I love playing against Saints and I love playing against [Mark] Percival – he’s my favourite centre in the competition.

Warrington Wolves vs St Helens

May 19, 2022, 7:30pm

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“They’re just an enjoyable team to play against; they’re tough, they’re very challenging and they push you for 80 minutes, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Although it was thought that he was close to returning, St Helens remain without Regan Grace who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf has made only one change to the side that beat Hull FC last week, Daniel Hill coming into the squad to replace Jumah Sambou and he knows that, despite their recent run of poor form, Warrington remain a dangerous side to come up against.

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Highlights of the match between St Helens and Hull FC in the Super League.
Highlights of the match between St Helens and Hull FC in the Super League.

“I see a side that is dangerous,” said Woolf.

“I think if you looked at the squads and the players available at the start of the year and the squad that they have named, everyone would have said they would be a team that is going to place in the top four or five and be a very dangerous side.

“So, that doesn’t change. Players don’t lose their talent.

“They obviously haven’t had the results go their way and they have lacked a bit of confidence at times but they are still a dangerous side.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Warrington.
Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Warrington.

“When you lose a game like they have on the weekend, you generally want to make amends for it the following week and I have got no doubt that a big game against us, it is a local rivalry, it is a home game for them, it is going to be one that they are going to put a lot of energy into and that is certainly the game that we are going to be prepared for.

“I was happy with what we did last week, I was happy with the way we played, happy with the way we approached the game and we are going to be looking to do exactly that again and be a little bit better again.”

Warrington 21-Man Squad: Stefan Ratchford, Peter Mata’utia, Toby King, Matty Ashton, Gareth Widdop, George Williams, Joe Philbin, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Oliver Holmes, Jason Clark, Joe Bullock, Matt Davis, Billy Magoulias, Robbie Mulhern, Connor Wrench, Ellis Longstaff, Ellis Robson, Riley Dean, Luke Thomas

St Helens 21-Man Squad: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield, James Bell, Josh Simm, Ben Davies, Konrad Hurrell, Dan Norman, Daniel Hill

Source : Sky Sports