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- First Utility Super League
- 19th Jul 2014
- KO 15:00
- Att: 1,791
Super League: London Broncos v St Helens preview
- Vea to sit out Saints clash
- Betts thrilled with Widnes
- Brown purrs at Saints display
- Lowes has plans for Bradford
- Hardaker set for return
- Warriors v Hull FC: Teams
- Vikings v Wolves: Teams
- Giants v Bulls: Teams
- Rovers v Red Devils: Teams
- Dragons v Wildcats: Teams
- Sinfield off as Leeds draw
- Saints stroll past Broncos
- Giants win to send Bulls down
- Warrington stunned by Widnes
St Helens will look to maintain their spot at the Super League summit when they travel to face the relegated London Broncos on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Brown’s Saints enter Round 21 with a one-point advantage over second-place Leeds Rhinos, while Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers are all only two points adrift as the battle to claim the League Leaders' Shield intensifies.
At the opposite end of the table, the Broncos had their relegation confirmed after Warrington Wolves inflicted a 20th successive Super League defeat on the capital club last Sunday.
A 72-12 reverse spelt the end of the road for Joe Grima’s side and it is also a result that means there will be no capital involvement in rugby league’s flagship tournament next term.
Meanwhile, Saints retained their Super League lead with 46-22 triumph over the beleaguered Bradford Bulls at Langtree Park last time out.
Veteran Paul Wellens scored twice while Lance Hohaia, James Roby, Mose Masoe, Tommy Makinson, Adam Swift and Mark Percival all crossed as the Saints raced to an emphatic victory.
While the Broncos are winless in the 2014 edition of the tournament, honours were even last term, with the Londoners prevailing on home soil. Even though the Broncos are down Brown remains wary.
“I suppose the fact that they are down in some ways can present a challenge because it frees some of the burden and pressure,” he told the St Helens Star.
“They can chance their hand a bit more. As a whole - most of the games London have played this year they have generally fought hard and given themselves a chance.
“Credit to Joey Grima and the players because they have hung in for each other.”
Saints coach Brown has made two changes to his preliminary squad ahead of the trip to the capital, with Anthony Laffranchi and Matty Dawson both returning.
Adam Swift and Greg Richards are the men to make way as the Saints go in search of back-to-back wins following their Round 19 slip against Hull KR.
Meanwhile, London Broncos forward Atelea Vea will not get the chance to impress his new employers after being suspended for striking during the Broncos’ defeat at Warrington last Sunday.
Tongan Vea, who will join Saints next season, will sit out the visit of Brown’s men, but team-mate Olsi Krasniqi retains his place in the Broncos squad after admitting a lesser charge.
Loanee James Cunningham has returned to parent club Hull FC but Grima is boosted by the return of Oscar Thomas, who rejoined the club earlier in the week and comes straight into the 19-man squad.
Mike McMeeken, James Woodburn-Hall and Joe Keyes are also called into the squad whole Illies Macani misses out.
London Broncos: Atkins, Cook, Dollapi, Drinkwater, Farrar, Foster, Griffin, Krasniqi, Keyes, Lovell, McMeeken, Minns, Moore, Slyney, Solomona, Thomas, Wallace, Wicks, Woodburn-Hall
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler, Dawson, Thompson
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|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 vs Salford|
|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|
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