9 Sep 2020

Round 12 Preview

Crowds return to Super League this week for the first time since March with Catalans Dragons set to welcome up to 5,000 supporters to the Stade Gilbert Brutus for their clash against Wigan Warriors on Saturday evening. 

Before that, the Totally Wicked Stadium is the venue for four Round 12 matches on Thursday & Friday night.

All matches are live on Sky Sports.

Thursday 10 September

Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity (18:00) - Sky Sports Main Event, Arena & Mix

Wakefield Trinity return to Super League action on Thursday night after their squad received negative Covid-19 tests earlier this week. 

Chris Chester's side saw their Round 11 clash with Leeds Rhinos postponed because of two positive tests last week, but they were back in training on Tuesday as they go in search of a first post-lockdown win.

They take on a Hull FC side who were well-beaten by Warrington Wolves on Friday. However, the Black and Whites did edge past Trinity 27-26 when they met back in February. 

FC have been forced into a raft of changes from their match against Wolves; Jamie Shaul, Carlos Tuimavave, Manu Ma’u and Jordan Johnstone all drop out through injury. 

Josh Griffin also isn’t risked with a minor knock and Ligi Sao serves his one-match suspension.

Joe Cator, Connor Wynne, Andre Savelio, Lewis Bienek and Jude Ferreira are all called into the 21-man squad, while Masi Matongo makes his return from a shoulder injury.

Ben Jones-Bishop is back in Trinity's squad for the first time this season.

Alex Walker, Chris Green, Jay Pitts and Liam Kay also return, but Jacob Miller, Kyle Wood, Tinirau Arona and Matty Ashurst all miss out.

Hull FC: Adam Swift, Bureta Faraimo, Jake Connor, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, Albert Kelly, Joe Cator, Masi Matongo, Brad Fash, Jordan Lane, Josh Bowden, Andre Savelio, Mahe Fonua, Connor Wynne, Kieran Buchanan, Lewis Bienek, Jack Brown, Cameron Scott, Charlie Patterson Lund, Ben McNamara, Jude Ferreira.

Wakefield Trinity: Alex Walker, Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Ben Jones-Bishop, Joe Westerman, Jay Pitts, Craig Kopczak, Chris Green, Jordy Crowther, Max Jowitt, George King, Josh Wood, Titus Gwaze, Ryan Hampshire, Yusuf Aydin, Connor Bailey, Kelepi Tanginoa, Romain Nayarrete, Liam Kay, Tony Gigot, Innes Senior.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths

Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves (20:15) - Sky Sports Main Event, Arena & Mix 

Castleford Tigers need a win over Warrington Wolves to stay in contention for a place in the Super League play-offs in Thursday's late game.

Tigers lost their first three matches post-lockdown, but they got back on track with a thrilling 37-30 victory over Salford Red Devils in Round 11.

Having won six games on the bounce, Steve Price's Wolves are one of the form sides in Super League. They could go top, albeit just for one day, if they can beat Tigers for the second time this season. 

The Wire remain without seven of their first team squad due to one positive Covid-19 test and six others isolating under track and trace protocols, but they do welcome Ben Murdoch-Masila back from suspension. 

Castleford make only two changes to their squad - James Clare and Lewis Peachey replace Bailey Hodgson and Jesse Sene-Lefao.

Castleford Tigers: Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, George Griffin, Alex Foster,Junior Moors, James Clare, Jacques O’Neill,  Tyla Hepi, Greg Eden, Calum Turner, Lewis Peachey, Gareth O’Brien.

Warrington Wolves: Matty Ashton, Blake Austin, Keanan Brand, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Eribe Doro, Anthony Gelling, Luis Johnson, Toby King, Leilani Latu, Tom Lineham, Ellis Longstaff, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Stefan Ratchford, Ellis Robson, Josh Thewlis, Danny Walker.

Referee: Robert Hicks

Friday 11 September

St Helens v Hull KR (18:00) - Sky Sports Arena

St Helens beat Hull KR 32-18 in an excellent match at the Halliwell Jones Stadium less than a fortnight ago, and the two sides will clash again on Friday. 

Rovers picked up their first win since the opening weekend of the season by beating Wigan Warriors last week in superb fashion.

Tony Smith's attacking brand of rugby league makes for a brilliant watch. The offloading against Warriors was superb and tore Adrian Lam's side to shred's. 

Despite their recent improvement, Rovers have their work cut out against Saints.

Super League's defending champions come into this match on a role. Since the restart, they have been in imperious form, winning all five of their matches.

Saints bring James Roby & Zeb Taia back into their squad, while KR only make one change - Mitch Garbutt replaces Jamie Ellis.

St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Matty Costello, Jack Welsby, Joe Batchelor, Josh Simm, James Graham.

Hull KR: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Greg Minikin, Jordan Abdull, Matt Parcell, Weller Hauraki, Harvey Livett, Dean Hadley, Mitch Garbutt, George Lawler, Dan Murray, Jez Litten, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Ethan Ryan, Joe Keyes, Matty Gee, Will Maher, Elliot Minchella, Matty Storton, Nathaniel Peteru.

Referee: Jack Smith

Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants (20:15) - Sky Sports Arena 

Leeds Rhinos' 20-point comeback and Luke Gale's golden point drop goal will be remembered as one of the highlights of the 2020 season. It came when these two sides met on the first day of action post-lockdown. 

Since then, Huddersfield Giants' fortunes haven't improved - three more defeats have left their play-off chances hanging by a thread.

This match is not quite must win, but Simon Woolford will know the importance of regaining their early season momentum. 

Rhinos' last two matches have been postponed because of Covid-19 outbreaks at Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons, so they'll be pleased to get back playing. 

Their record since lockdown is won two, lost two. They, like Giants, need to find some consistency if they are to challenge for a play-off spot. 

Richard Agar is boosted by the return of James Donaldson, Alex Mellor and Konrad Hurrell.

Giants could hand a debut to Chris McQueen, and Ash Golding and Darnell McIntosh are both set to feature.

Leeds Rhinos: Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Konrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Rob Lui, Luke Gale, Ava Seumanufagai, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, Alex Mellor, Rhyse Martin, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Richie Myler, Mikolaj Oledzki, Bodene Thompson, Callum McLelland, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Alex Sutcliffe, Tom Holroyd.

Huddersfield Giants: Ashton Golding, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Jordan Turner, Darnell McIntosh, Aidan Sezer, James Gavet, Adam O'Brien, Kenny Edwards, Joe Wardle, Michael Lawrence, Matty English, Oliver Wilson, Leroy Cudjoe, Tom Holmes, Oliver Russell, Louis Senior, Sam Hewitt, Sam Wood, Owen Trout, Chris McQueen.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas

Saturday 12 September 

Catalans Dragons v Wigan Warriors (17:00) - Sky Sports Arena & Mix 

This match will finally see fans return to Super League. No doubt a relief for Catalans Dragons owner, Bernard Guasch, who can start to recoup the money he has spent on charter flights to the UK for Dragons since the restart, reportedly at £50,000 per game. 

There was more good news for Dragons earlier this week when it was announced that the Super League standings will be decided on points percentage for the first time in the competitions history - a change that saw the French club move from fourth to first in the table.

On the pitch, Dragons are playing their first match in two weeks after three players and a member of their non-playing staff tested positive for Covid-19.  

They'll be without the former Wigan Warriors pair of Michael McIlorum and Tom Davies; Josh Drinkwater and David Mead are also unavailable for Dragons, who bring Lucas Albert, Samisoni Langi, Julian Bousquet and Lewis Tierney into their squad.

Sean O'Loughlin is back for Adrian Lam's outfit for the first time since February, and George Burgess, Ethan Havard and Joe Bullock are also in contention to play in Perpignan.

Catalans Dragons: Lewis Tierney, Samisoni Langi, Israel Folau, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Remi Casty, Max Whitley, Joel Tomkins, Benjamin Garcia, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Jullien, Alrix Da Costa, Mickael Goudemand, Lucas Albert, Arthur Romano, Antoni Maria, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Mourgue, Lambert Belmas, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins.

Wigan Warriors: Zak Hardaker, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, Bevan French, Tommy Leuluai, Sam Powell, George Burgess, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin, Joe Greenwood, Oliver Partington, Joe Bullock, Dom Manfredi, Mitch Clark, Jake Bibby, Harry Smith, Jack Wells, Ethan Havard, Jackson Hastings, Joe Shorrocks.

Referee: Chris Kendall