Saints hatch expansive plan to down Wigan

 

St Helens and Wigan meet for the sixth time this season tonight – and for two clubs striving for an Old Trafford Grand Final it will not feel like too much of a good thing.

Wigan have won two and drawn one in Super League, as well as beating Saints in the Challenge Cup semi-final, but they lost to their old rivals in the first round of the play-offs two weeks ago. There is not a great deal that they don't know about each other.

Saints' coach, Royce Simmons, is on record this season as saying that they cannot beat Wigan by playing them at their own game, although Warrington did precisely that a month ago.

Saints, on the other hand, do not want to get tied into a forward battle down the middle. Quick play-the-balls and expansive ball movement will be their creed. The question then arises of who is best equipped to put the plan into operation. Leon Pryce is fit again for what could be his last game for St Helens, but Lee Gaskell and Jonny Lomax have performed so well together, notably in their last outing against the Warriors, that it would be a brave man who would break up their partnership.

Paul Wellens needs one try to bring up his 200 for the club and there would be few better times to score it.

Wigan answered most of the questions about their resilience and energy levels with their 44-0 thrashing of a strongly-fancied Catalan Dragons side last Sunday. Joel Tomkins is fit, after being withdrawn as a precaution with a leg knock when that match was safely won, while Lee Mossop is also included after missing that game through failing a late fitness test on his hamstring.

The Wigan coach, Michael Maguire, has confirmed, however, that Ben Cross has played his last game for the club, after fracturing his forearm for the second time. He is joining Widnes next season.

Another Wigan player looking towards next season is Amos Roberts, who has played just six games and needs another operation on his knee.

With a back three of Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley and Pat Richards in such consistently good form, Roberts has hardly been missed this season. He hopes to be fit to try to force his way back into the side early next year.

Tomorrow is devoted to the Championship Grand Finals, with Sheffield Eagles, without the suspended Menzie Yere, playing Featherstone Rovers in the main game. Keighley and Workington meet in the Championship 1 decider, for the right to go up alongside the already promoted Swinton.

Sky Sports 1, 17.30

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders