Lomax loss hits struggling Saints


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The Independent Online

St Helens set out to arrest their slide at Odsal tonight without one of their brightest young stars. Saints are without a win in four games and have had to rule out their scrum-half, Jonny Lomax, with a shoulder injury.

With Lance Hohaia already earmarked to stand in for James Roby at hooker, that could mean a more central role for Gary Wheeler. Shaun Magennis also returns.

"I think we've just gradually played our way out of form," said Saints' coach, Royce Simmons, having cited a lack of on-field communication as the root of the side's recent problems. They face a Bradford side that will be without Nick Scruton for the foreseeable future. The prop forward needs a shoulder reconstruction.

The Bulls have the cock-eyed record of winning all their away games so far this season, but not picking up a single point at home.

Hull KR, who were caught out on their own ground by the Bulls last week, have another difficult assignment this evening at the Catalan Dragons. Rovers are without their centre Jake Webster, while the Catalans have livewire hooker Eloi Pelissier back in action.

After last weekend's shock defeat by Widnes, it is a safe bet that Wigan will have Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Thomas Leuluai and Sean O'Loughlin back after resting them for that game. Hull will have to be wary tomorrow of falling into the same trap, as they have several young players standing by against the same opponents.