Saints vs Trinity – Match Preview15th October 2020
Trinity are set to face St Helens for the second time in seven days, and tonight the game will be staged on neutral territory, at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. (Emma Holley previews).
The Saints were forced to come from behind to beat Trinity last Friday, after Trinity took a 12-0 lead in the first half.
Despite falling short, with 16-20 as the final result, Trinity produced a spirited performance, and Chris Chester believes that his side aren’t that far away from their first win since the restart.
Last week was a tough one for the club, with Trinity facing more adversity. Nevertheless, they contested the League Leaders until the final whistle on Friday, and have since had a positive week in the build-up to tonight’s match.
Ahead of tonight’s clash, Chester confirmed that there have been no more positive tests within the playing group this week, and that it is likely the same squad will be selected for this match.
He said: “I thought we showed some real positive signs last week. I thought for large parts of the game we were pretty good.”
Chester then admitted: “I wasn’t frustrated with the result, I’m more frustrated we can’t do that consistently week in, week out.”
“I thought we attacked good. We toughed it out when we needed to. It’s probably the best performance since lockdown.”
It has also been announced this week that Trinity will play their Round 18 and 19 fixtures on home soil.
On the long-awaited return to the beloved Mobile Rocket Stadium, Chester said: “It’s going to be really nice…and certainly nice to play on a field that you train on every day. It’s a shame there’s no fans, but it’s a step in the right direction, and it’ll be nice for the players to get a few home games under their belt.”
He then added: “But we’ve got this week to focus on (first), and fingers crossed we can do the job and get the result done.”
Kristian Woolf has made one change to his Saints squad for this return clash, with young Loose Forward Jake Wingfield coming in to replace a self-isolating James Graham.
St Helens currently occupy the top spot of the table with a 76.92% win percentage, and are unbeaten since the Super League restart in August. Their victory last Friday ensured an eighth straight win.
They will be hoping for another win this week, to further themselves from rivals Warrington, Catalans and Wigan, who follow closely behind in the table.
The ones to watch for the League Leaders are Tommy Makinson, one of Super League’s top metre makers in 2019 and the Golden Boot Award winner in 2018, and opposite winger Regan Grace.
Former Man of Steel and veteran hooker James Roby is another one Trinity will be looking out for, as well as influential playmaker and try-scorer from Friday Lachlan Coote, and the dynamic halfback pairing in Theo Fages and England international Jonny Lomax.
Both sides met last Friday, where Trinity were pipped 16-20. Prior to this, Trinity played away at the Totally Wicked Stadium last August, and suffered a 26-6 defeat.
Trinity also met with Saints in last year’s Challenge Cup semi-final, but were well-beaten 48-10. The most recent home fixture against St Helens was in February last year, where St Helens broke Trinity hearts and clinched the win in the dying minutes of the game, 18-24.
In 2018, Trinity experienced close encounters with Saints; edged out 30-34 away, but victorious at home, 24-20, showing Trinity can challenge their opponents.
2017 also saw the two sides battle it out for a top four place, where Trinity heartbreakingly lost out 16-18 in an intense home game. Nevertheless, reflection on previous meetings will make Trinity that more determined, and show that certain games can be learned from.
Tonight’s match will be available LIVE on Sky Sports Mix, K.O. 7:45pm, or alternatively you can follow the Trinity Twitter page for continual updates!
Trinity (21-man squad): Ashurst, Bailey, Batchelor, Battye, Croft, Fifita, Green, Hampshire, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kopczak, Lyne, Navarrete, Senior, Tangata, Tanginoa, Walker, Westerman, J. Wood.
Saints (21-man squad): Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Taia, Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Lees, Amor, Smith, Bentley, Welsby, Batchelor, Simm, Dodd, Wingfield.