Arnold proves coach wrong

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The Independent Online
Only three teams unbeaten after two rounds of Super League - and Wigan not among them. Early days, but it smacks of a more even, less predictable competition.

St Helens, victors over Wigan on Good Friday, go to Leeds at the early hour of noon today, with their coach, Shaun McRae, admitting that one of his youngest players has forced his hand.

Danny Arnold, still a week from his 19th birthday, was left out of Saints' Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final side but has scored seven tries in his first two games of this summer season.

"When I left him out, I told him that he had plenty of time to prove me wrong," McRae said. "He has proved me wrong."

That gives McRae a potential problem when two other right-wingers, Joey Hayes and Alan Hunte, are fit. Today, though, it is Leeds, beaten in their two opening fixtures, who have the problem of containing a young player who looks suspiciously like a born try-scorer.

Wigan have to regroup this evening against another unbeaten side, Warrington. They will have to manage without Martin Offiah for a month as a result of his back injury, but have a highly promising stand-in in Rob Smyth.

London Broncos, the only other side with two wins behind them, have a demanding trip to Odsal, for which their coach, Tony Currie, will have to make changes.

Victory over Paris on Thursday came at the cost of serious injuries to Gavin Allen and Greg Barwick. Peter Gill, one of London's best forwards last season, is ready to return for Allen, but the absence of Barwick will require a reshuffle.

Currie, far from impressed with some aspects of the performance against Paris, does not feel that two off-the-cuff players like Duncan McRae and Leo Dynevor mesh properly at half-back, so he proposes to move McRae, whose dazzling side-step can do damage from any position on the pitch, to full-back.

He will then slot Tulsen Tollett, impressive in his first two matches in England, into the stand-off role, where Currie feels he can be one of the most effective players in the competition.

Tollett, born in Hastings before his parents emigrated to Australia, wants to play for England in the European Championship later this season and his coach believes he is up to the task.

"He could be the best they have in a position where England does not have a lot of contenders," Currie said.

Bradford, surprisingly beaten at Sheffield on Friday, are likely to give a debut to their new signing from Hull, Steve McNamara.

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