Super League: Thursday talking points and team news

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2:52 See all the action from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers ran in 50 points against Leigh Centurions.

Although Richardson is back, Castleford will be without Gareth O’Brien due to injury and Jesse Sene-Lefao after he was handed a one-match suspension.

Named squads

Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Zak Hardaker, Thomas Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Oliver Partington, Morgan Smithies, Tony Clubb, Liam Byrne, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Jake Bibby, Mitch Clark, Joe Shorrocks, James McDonnell, Umyla Hanley, Jackson Hastings.

Castleford Tigers: Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, Jake Trueman, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Cheyse Blair, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, George Griffin, Tyla Hepi, Daniel Smith, Greg Eden, Jordan Turner, Lewis Bienek, Brad Martin, Sam Hall.

Giants seek in-game consistency

Tipped by many pundits as possible dark horses in Super League this year, Huddersfield’s new era under Ian Watson has so far yielded just one win from four matches which came against promoted Leigh in the Challenge Cup.

Huddersfield Giants vs St Helens

April 22, 2021, 7:00pm

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The Giants were unable to follow up that victory on their return to Super League action last Friday as they were edged out 25-24 by Hull Kingston Rovers despite a Lee Gaskell-inspired fightback in the second half.

That lack of consistency in matches so far is what club captain Michael Lawrence pinpointed as the major issue for Huddersfield so far this year.

“I feel we’ve been very patchy,” Lawrence told Sky Sports. “We had a good second half against Catalans, we were good for 60 minutes of the game against Leigh and even though we won there was an area in that game we got a little bit sloppy.

“At the weekend we only performed in the second half, so we’ve got to get that consistency. When we do put that 80-minute performance together, we’ll start firing and we’ll start getting some wins.

0:51 Huddersfield skipper Michael Lawrence says his side have been lacking consistency so far this season.

“Coming up against the back-to-back champions is a great game and a great opportunity for ourselves.”

Saints braced for ‘toughest challenge yet’

By contrast, reigning champions St Helens could hardly have made a better start to their quest for a third successive Super League title and go into the match sitting top of the standings after three rounds following last week’s 34-6 win over Wakefield Trinity.

But despite the two sides’ contrasting fortunes in the opening rounds of the 2021 season, head coach Kristian Woolf has warned his players this will be the stiffest test they have faced so far in the campaign.

The Australian expects the Giants to raise their game when they host the back-to-back champions and expects the quality in their squad to start coming to the fore sooner rather than later.

1:45 All the tries from the Totally Wicked Stadium last week as St Helens ran out 34-6 winners against Wakefield Trinity.

“I look at it as potentially our toughest challenge yet,” Woolf, who is without Tommy Makinson for the match due to a minor foot injury but welcomes back Sione Mata’utia, said. “I think if you look through the Huddersfield squad, they’ve got a very classy squad.

“When you do lose a couple of games you get a real steel about wanting to turn that around and that’s what I’d expect them to have this week.

“We certainly expect teams to come and be at their best when they play us – that’s what we get every week. It’s certainly what we’ve got the last few games and I wouldn’t expect any different this weekend.”

Named squads

Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Darnell McIntosh, Lee Gaskell, Aidan Sezer, Luke Yates, Adam O’Brien, Michael Lawrence, Kenny Edwards, Josh Jones, Matty English, Jack Cogger, Chris McQueen, Jack Ashworth, James Cunningham, Oliver Wilson, Leroy Cudjoe, James Gavet, Louis Senior, Sam Wood, Ronan Michael.

St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Joel Thompson, James Bentley, Sione Mata’utia, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Welsby, Aaron Smith, Joe Batchelor, Lewis Dodd, Jake Wingfield, Dan Norman, Tom Nisbet.

Sourse: skysports.com

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