14 Jun 2019

THE LOWDOWN: GIANTS VS SAINTS

All the information you need ahead of our clash with St Helens

On Friday night the Giants travel to St Helens looking to return to winning ways after last week’s agonizing defeat against the Castleford Tigers. The Saints will also be wanting to return to winning ways, after the also lost in golden point overtime.

The Brief

As noted previously, both sides will be wanting to get the two points after narrow losses last weekend. The Saints’ lost to the London Broncos was only their second loss of the season, in both league and cup. The Giants will also want to return to winning ways and get them back into contention for a playoff spot again, after falling to ninth after their loss at Castleford.

The Teams

The Opposition

It is no secret that the Saints have been the best side in the competition so far this season. They current sit top of the Betfred Super League table, having won 15 of their opening 17 games.

They started their season off with a 22-12 victory over local rivals Wigan Warriors at the Totally Wicked Stadium. They followed that up with their first away win of the season, a late try securing a 24-18 win over Wakefield Trinity.

After a week off, they continued their winning form at home to the Leeds Rhinos, winning 27-22. That was followed by a 26-4 win at the Salford Red Devils.

Another four wins followed for the league leaders, a 26-0 home win against the London Broncos was followed by a 40-12 win at the John Smith’s Stadium, against the Giants. Another trip to West Yorkshire followed as Saints beat the Castleford Tigers 42-12. They then beat East Yorkshire side Hull KR 36-24 at home.

Then, in round nine, Saints suffered their first loss of the season. The red-vee were beaten 18-10 in the South of France by the Catalans Dragons. The returned to winning ways the following week though, beating second placed Warrington Wolves 38-12 at the Totally Wicked.

The Easter weekend followed. Saints beat local rivals Wigan Warriors for the second time this season 36-10 at the DW Stadium. They followed that with an emphatic 62-16 win against Hull FC the following Monday afternoon. The Saints then got revenge for their loss to Catalans earlier on in the season, beating them 50-14. A second victory over Hull KR followed, with the Saints winning 42-26 at the KCOM Craven Park.

Form

Friday night’s hosts have won four out of their last five games in all competitions with the Giants winning two of their last five.

The two sides met on the 12th May in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at the John Smith’s Stadium, with the Saints winning 22-16.

The Saints followed the win against the Giants with a 32-30 win against the Salford Red Devils. They then made the short trip to Anfield, beating the Castleford Tigers 36-16. Their most recent home game saw them defeat Wakefield Trinity 48-10 in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter finals. As mentioned previously, the Saints lost their second game of the season last weekend in golden point overtime, losing 23-22 at the London Broncos.

Prior to the Giants’ previous game against St Helens, they narrowly lost 25-26 at home to Wakefield Trinity. However, after the game against this weekend’s opposition, Giants beat Hull KR 30-22 at home, before demolishing Hull FC 55-2 at the Dacia Magic Weekend. As noted previously, the Giants lost in golden point overtime as well last weekend, eventually losing 27-26 to the Castleford Tigers.

Key Players

Alex Walmsley

Alex Walmsley has returned to the Saints squad this season after missing the majority of last year due to a serious neck injury. The prop has featured heavily for the Merseyside club since he joined from the Batley Bulldogs in 2013. Walmsley has made 1745 metres so far this season, with an average carry of 7.83 metres, he has also made 263 tackles for his side. Walmsley has also made 62 tackle busts so far in 2019.

Jordan Turner

Former Saint Jordan Turner is a player who will be key to the Giants’ chances of winning on Friday night. Turner has played in 16 out of the Giants’ first 17 Betfred Super League games so far this season. The centre has made 1644 metres so far this season for the Giants, with an average gain of 7.58 metres. Turner has also scored three tries of his own as well as setting up four tries for his teammates.

Key Battle

Michael Lawrence v Morgan Knowles

A key battle for both sides this weekend will be between the loose forwards for both sides. 22-year-old St Helens forward Morgan Knowles will be going head to head with Giants legend, Michael Lawrence.

Both players have featured in 16 of their sides 17 Betfred Super League games this season. Knowles leads the way in the competition this season when it comes to marker tackles. The Welsh forward has made 135 so far this season, with Lawrence not far behind with 107. For tackles in general, the Saints forward has made 569 tackles compared to Lawrence’s 529.

Lawrence has made more metres than Knowles this season though. The Giants forward has made 1225 metres compared to the Knowles’ 826. Lawrence has also only made one mistake so far this season compared to the Welsh forwards eight.

Previous Meetings

As noted previously, the sides have met twice so far this season, once in the league and once in the cup, both coming at the John Smith’s Stadium.

St Helens have won both meetings between the sides, the first being a 40-12 win in March in the Betfred Super League, before a tighter game in May saw the Saints advance in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup after winning 22-16.

Did You Know

AARON MURPHY needs one appearance to reach 250 for his career.

            - 180 for Huddersfield Giants (2012-2019)

            - 64 for Wakefield Trinity (2007-2011)

            - 5 for Batley Bulldogs (2008, loan)

You might also be interested in

Partners