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Super League preview: St Helens v Wakefield Wildcats
Easter is on the horizon and I think we've patched a couple of blokes up for the odd week too long.
Quotes of the week
St Helens could come up against a familiar name on Friday night when they welcome Wakefield to Langtree Park.
The Wildcats are beset by injuries for the trip across the Pennines, meaning Bobbie Goulding - the son of the former Saints scrum-half of the same name, has been included in their 19-man squad.
The 19-year-old joined Wakefield in the off-season but has so far spent the campaign on dual registration at Championship side Doncaster. However, with half-back Tim Smith ruled out, Ricard Agar could call upon Goulding Jnr.
Danny Cowling and Matty Wildie have also been summoned back from Doncaster, while Kyle Amor is recalled after being dropped for last Sunday's 23-23 draw with Salford for disciplinary reasons.
The visitors have seen Justin Poore and Ali Lauitiiti also join a casualty list that already included fellow forwards Andy Raleigh and captain Danny Kirmond.
"We've been carrying one or two little bumps and knocks for a couple of weeks now," said Wildcats boss Agar. "Easter is on the horizon and I think we've patched a couple of blokes up for the odd week too long.
"The shorter turnaround has got us this week because we've lost that extra couple of days that would genuinely have helped us in a couple of instances to get people back and on the field.
"You play the cards your dealt and we'll send our strongest squad over there.
"The positive out of it is some guys are going to continue to get good experiences which is only going to help us in the long term and some guys that have been on the periphery sat waiting patiently for a chance are going to get that chance."
Saints, meanwhile, will be hoping to finally register their first Super League win at home under the stewardship of Nathan Brown.
They have lost twice and drawn once so far at Langtree Park, though they did record an excellent 22-10 victory away at Warrington last Friday in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Brown is once again without Paul Wellens, with the full-back set to return next week against Salford City Reds. Tommy Makinson is recalled to the 19-man squad.
St Helens squad: Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Greenwood, Walmsley, Walker.
Wakefield squad: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, Sykes, Wood, Amor, Aiton, Wildie, Mellars, Mariano, Washbrook, L Smith, Annakin, Trout, Wildie, Cowling, Goulding.
What they said...
St Helens back row Paul Clough
"We have now set our benchmark and we can't go out against Wakefield and put in a poor performance," he told the club's official website.
"We have to make our home a fortress and we haven't done that."
Wakefield coach Richard Agar
"We're looking for those players to stand up," he told the club's official website.
"We're looking for some of those players to give us the right response in this situation. I think the manner of our performance is very, very important."
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalan Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalan Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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