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Super League: St Helens v Castleford Tigers preview
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St Helens could return to the top of the Super League table on Sunday with another success over Castleford Tigers at Langtree Park.
Wigan Warriors moved top on Wednesday following their thumping 48-4 success over slumping Widnes Vikings.
Saints have already toppled the Tigers once this season, however, Nathan Brown’s men did it the hard way after coming from 24-6 down at half-time to secure a last-gasp 30-28 triumph.
St Helens did the double over Castleford last season while a win for the Tigers on Sunday would see Daryl Powell’s men move level on points with Brown’s troops.
The home side are set to switch skipper Paul Wellens back to full-back in the place of the injured Jonny Lomax. They are also boosted by the return from injury of back-row forward Jon Wilkin and winger Adam Swift.
Saints also welcome back stand-off Lance Hohaia, who missed last week's 42-0 defeat by Catalan in Perpignan to be beside his pregnant wife. Prop Alex Walmsley is missing through suspension.
“If you look at the competition table there are five or six teams there or thereabouts,” Brown told the St Helens Star.
“The competition is close - Cas, Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and Saints are not running away with it. The thing is being consistent enough to win enough games and play well at the right time of the year.
“Every team is going to have a blip. Leeds have only won one of their last four and that was against Leigh.”
Castleford coach Daryl Powell recalls his captain Michael Shenton, along with Marc Sneyd, Andy Lynch and Daryl Clark who all sat out last week's defeat at Wigan.
However, there is no place yet for new signing Garreth Carvell. James Clare, Ben Reynolds and Ashley Gibson are the men to make way.
“It’s pretty tight now at the top of Super League,” Powell told the Castleford and Pontefract Express. “Obviously, St Helens got rattled a bit last week at Catalan so it will be an interesting game for us.
“We need to get some consistency back. It’s a new block of games for us now and there are some tough matches in there but we need to respond.”
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Swift, Hohaia, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Flanagan, Wellens, Percival, Wheeler, Dawson, Richards, Thompson, Savelio.
Castleford Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Finn, Jewitt.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||21||18|
|10||Salford Red Devils||21||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||21||2|
|Thursday 24th July|
|20:00||Hull vs Castleford|
|Friday 25th July|
|20:00||Salford vs Leeds|
|20:00||St Helens vs Widnes|
|Saturday 26th July|
|15:00||London Broncos vs Hull K R|
|Sunday 27th July|
|15:00||Bradford vs Wigan|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Catalan Dragons|
|15:00||Warrington vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|19:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
|London Broncos 16 - 58 St Helens|
|Friday 18th July|
|Wigan 56 - 10 Hull|
|Widnes 28 - 14 Warrington|
|Thursday 17th July|
|Leeds 24 - 24 Castleford|
|Sunday 13th July|
|Warrington 72 - 12 London Broncos|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Catalan Dragons 16 - 37 Wigan|
|Salford 35 - 22 Hull|
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