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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.
|Click here for more betting|
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans 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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