Thursday, 13 February 2014

Super League Round 1 Preview

After the excitement of Wigan and Huddersfisld last Friday, the rest of the league begin their season in the inaugural round of Super League XIX and it begins tonight with the clash between 2013 Grand Final runners-up Warrington Wolves and the revitalised St Helens with a new look Wolves side that should feature debuts for Asotasi and England while Saints give SL debuts to Walsh and Amor.

Warrington-2. Chris Riley, 3. Chris Bridge, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan, 6. Stefan Ratchford, 7. Richie Myler, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Micky Higham, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 14. Michael Monaghan, 17. Ben Currie, 19. Anthony England, 20. Gareth O'Brien, 21. Glenn Riley, 22. Brad Dwyer, 23. James Laithwaite, 25. Ben Evans.

St Helens-1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Luke Walsh, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 24. Gary Wheeler, 27. Greg Richards.

Friday night sees only a single game as Hull host Catalans with the hosts going into the game having won the last two meetings between the sides and will hope to begin better than in 2013 when they lost 36-6 to Leeds while Catalans will look to complete a strange double having beaten Hull KR away in the 2013 opener. 

Hull FC: Arundel, Bowden, Carvell, Crooks, Ellis, Heremaia, Horne, Houghton, Lineham, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.
Catalan Dragons: Escare, Pryce, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Bosc, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Lima, Taia, Mounis, Pelissier, Whitehead, Millard, Simon, Fakir, Paea, Baitieri, Cardace.

Sunday rugby returns with four games but no squads have been posted as of yet with Bradford hoping to leave their current troubles and end the weekend with a win at home to Castleford who will look to improve on last year's finish of 12th

Hull KR host Leeds with both looking to get off to a good start after a mixed 2013 with Hull KR doing well to get in the top 8 while Leeds secured a top three place only to finish the season one step away from Old Trafford after defeat to eventual winners Wigan.

Widnes host London with the Vikings hopeful of another successful season after their 10th place finish in 2013 and have hopes of reaching the play-offs after the signing of Danny Tickle and Danny Galea as well as the loaning of Rhodri Lloyd from Wigan. London on the other hand will be looking to avoid a heavy opening defeat after ending 2013 with a mass exodus and bringing in six players on a years loan featuring three from Leeds and one from champions Wigan with two notable permanent signings in the shape of Denny Solomona and Scott Moore.

The standout tie sees the re-branded Salford Red Devils host Wakefield Trinity Wildcats with the latter looking to challenge for the play-offs in 2014 after a narrow miss in 11th in 2013 and have strengthened in signing Richard Moore and Paul McShane from Leeds with the overseas addition of Matt Ryan, Pita Godinet and Scott Anderson from the NRL.

 Salford boast a number of signings from across the league after a pre-season recruitment that included Harrison Hansen, Rangi Chase, Adrian Morley, Junior Sa'au and Francis Meli as they look avoid a repeat of finishing bottom in 2013 with some pundits saying they could go from bottom to top in a single season but maybe the play-offs is a more realistic target.

So an exciting three days of rugby await and begin in style later tonight at the HJ with Wire v Saints in what looks like a tasty match-up.