Super League match preview: Catalan Dragons v St Helens

Date: 09/05/2015

Kick Off: 17:00 (BST)

Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus

Referee: James Child

Teams:

Catalan Dragons: 1 Morgan Escaré, 4 Willie Tonga, 5 Michael Oldfield, 6 Todd Carney, 7 Scott Dureau, 8 Olivier Elima, 9 Ian Henderson, 10 Rémi Casty, 11 Zeb Taia, 12 Louis Anderson, 13 Greg Mounis, 14 Thomas Bosc, 16 Eloi Pelissier, 17 Elliott Whitehead, 18 Benjamin Garcia, 20 Damien Cardace, 21 Julian Bousquet, 24 Jason Baitieri, 27 Fouad Yaha

St Helens: 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 17. Mark Percival, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio, 30. Matty Fleming, 34. Shannon McDonnell

Last Ten Meetings:

St Helens 18-7 Catalan (SLR1 6/2/15)

St Helens 30-12 Catalan (SLGFE 2/10/14)

Catalan 42-0 St Helens (SLR16 14/6/14)

St Helens 40-22 Catalan (SLR5 14/3/14)

Catalan 6-26 St Helens (SLR23 3/8/13)

St Helens 12-22 Catalan (SLR12 12/4/13)

Catalan 15-20 St Helens (SLR21 20/7/12)

St Helens 32-34 Catalan (SLR4 24/2/12)

St Helens 40-18 Catalan (SLR22 15/7/11)

Catalan 16-20 St Helens (SLR4 5/3/11)

Preview

Catalan Dragons host reigning Super League champions St Helens in Perpignan on Saturday evening.

The Dragons go into the game on the back of a defeat away to Castleford last Sunday – their third loss in four games. In fact, Catalan have managed just three wins from their last ten Super League matches.

However, the French side find themselves embroiled in a battle for the final place in the top 8.

Todd Carney returns to the side after missing last week’s trip to the Jungle and Gregory Mounis could feature for the first time since in almost a month. The pair replace Mathias Pala and Gadwin Springer in Laurent Frayssinous’ squad.

However, Ben Pomeroy and Vincent Duport remain sidelined for the Dragons.

It promises to be a big day fro Eloi Pelissier, who is in line to make his 100th Super League appearance.

Saints were thrashed 42-0 on their last visit to the Stade Gilbert Brutus and head coach Keiron Cunningham is urging his side to put that out of their minds; “We can’t change what happened last year, we have to look forward,” he told the club’s website. “I’ve spoken to the players and told them the team that has beaten us the most this season is ourselves.

“If you don’t prepare well regardless of who you play then you won’t do well.”

The six-time Super League winners are boosted by the return of hooker James Roby, who was a late withdrawal from the squad that defeated Wakefield last Friday.

Cunningham admitted that selecting the returning Shannon McDonnell for last week’s win over Wakefield had been a gamble, but the full-back retains his place in the 19-man squad this week.

Prop forward Alex Walmsley – the division’s leading metre-maker – will be making his 60th Super League appearance for Saints.

The defending champions have won their last two games, and won the reverse fixture against Catalan at Langtree Park back in February.

Prior to last June’s drubbing, St Helens had won on their last five visits to the South of France and will be keen to close the gap on league leaders Leeds Rhinos.

Prediction

Saints by 8 – Saints have one of the league’s better records at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, and, with Travis Burns and Luke Walsh starting to gel in the halves, they will take a lot of stopping on Saturday.

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