ESL Preview - Round 8

Saints V Bulls Great Britain international Lee Gilmour is looking forward to locking horns with his old club when St Helens take on Bradford Bulls in engage Super League on Monday.

The big guns renew their Roses rivalry at Knowsley Road and, although St Helens will be without Jamie Lyon and Mark Edmonson - still recovering from exhaustion from the gruelling Good Friday derby at Wigan - they will be putting out a strong outfit.

?We?ll be putting the strongest side on the field that we can,? said Gilmour. ?I?m sure the 17 players will do a good job for us.

?Both teams are coming off a loss so both will be eager to pick up the two points. I?m glad we?ve got them at home. It should be a really tough game.?

While Saints were pipped 22-20 by the Warriors, Bradford must pick themselves up from a 42-12 home defeat by leaders Leeds, although Gilmour believes his former team-mates can take heart from their derby mauling.

?They had a big defeat but in the first 20 minutes of both halves, Bradford totally dominated the game,? he said. ?They will be thinking if they can do it for the 40 in both halves they will be there or thereabouts.

?We got off to a slow start defensively on Friday but in the second half we didn?t leak a try so, if we take that sort of mentality into the Bradford game, we should do alright.

?Offensively, I thought we were a bit lacking so we?ve been looking at the video to see where we can improve. I think we need to be a little bit better with our execution.?

St Helens v Bradford Bulls, Knowsley Road, Monday March 28 2005

St Helens 18-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Gilmour, Albert, Hardman, Roby, Wilkin, Fozzard, Cunningham, P. Anderson, Mason, V. Anderson, Graham, Viane, Moore, Fa'asavalu, Bennett, Long.

Bradford 18-man squad: Ferres, Deacon, Cook, Fielden, Harris, Atkins, Langley, Lynch, Meyers, Parker, Paul, Peacock, Pratt, L. Pryce, Radford, Reardon, Smith, Vagana.

Referee: R Silverwood ___________________ Broncos V Centurians

London Broncos have the luxury of being able to inject new blood into their squad with the introduction of back-row forward Danny Williams for their engage Super League clash against Leigh Centurions on Monday.

Having completed an 18-match suspension, former Melbourne Storm star Williams will make his debut against Leigh, who have yet to pick up their first point in Super League.

However, Williams insists they will not take the Centurions lightly, and said: ?They?re not travelling too well but any team can beat you on their day if you?re not playing well enough.?

Leigh Centurions v London Broncos, The Coliseum, Monday March 28 2005

Leigh 18-man squad: Turley, Wilshere, Jackson, Cooper, Smyth, Kent, J. Duffy, Moore, Rowley, Sturm, Wilkes, Leafa, Stapleton, Govin, Marshall, King, Maden, J. Duffy.

London 18-man squad: Armour, Bradley-Qalilawa, Dorn, Haumono, Highton, Hopkins, Kirkpatrick, Leuluai, Lolohea, Lucky Luisi, McLinden, Mbu, Smith, Stephenson, Sykes, Trindall, Wells, Williams.

Referee: S P Ganson _________________________ Wigan V Hull FC

Wigan Warriors face a test of their strength in depth when they meet third-placed Hull at the KC Stadium in engage Super League on Monday.

They will be without seven regulars after their injury crisis took a turn for the worse, whereas their opponents can afford to rest players like Motu Tony, Paul McNicholas and Michael Eagar.

?We have a very important game at Wakefield in the Cup next Sunday so we are going into the Wigan game with that in mind,? said Hull coach John Kear.

?It is a very demanding time and we have a big squad so we are making full use of the players available to us.?

Centre Richard Whiting and prop Garreth Carvell will play their first home games of the season after making successful comebacks from injury in the side?s 20-16 win at London on Friday.

?I was delighted with both of them,? said Kear. ?I thought the whole of our bench for the London game were superb and really changed the game for us when they came on. I was thrilled with the impact they made and it is a reflection on the quality of the squad.?

With Dennis Moran and Danny Orr both sidelined, Warriors coach Denis Betts is likely to turn to hooker Wayne Godwin to fill the scrum-half berth, although he has added teenage half-back James Coyle to his squad.

Godwin, who has yet to start a game since his close-season move from Castleford, knows to expect a difficult time against Hull, who held Wigan to two draws last year.

?It?s a really tough place to come,? he said. ?Speaking from experience and travelling here, I know the atmosphere is always good and Hull FC have a good fan base.

?They are a quality side and we?ll be looking to collect the two points to move us up the table. It?s a tough ask but I?m sure it will be a good game to watch.

?I?ll also be looking to getting one over some friends from our time at Castleford in Jamie Thackray, Motu Tony and Tommy Saxton.?

Hull FC v Wigan Warriors, KC Stadium, Monday March 28 2005

Hull 18-man squad: Briscoe, Blacklock, Yeaman, Raynor, R. Horne, Lupton, Dowes, McMenemy, Kearney, Cooke, Thackray, Saxton, Chester, Higgins, Carvell, Brough, G. Horne, Whiting.

Wigan 18-man squad: Radlinski, Dallas, Wild, Vaealiki, Aspinwall, Melling, Godwin, Newton, Guisset, Tickle, Hansen, Allen, Beswick, Colbon, Seu Seu, Prescott, J. Coyle, Hargreaves.

Referee: A Klein ________________________ Giants V Reds

Huddersfield can inject new blood into their squad with the introduction of Australian Test centre Michael De Vere against Salford in engage Super League on Monday.

De Vere will go straight into the Giants line-up to face Salford at the Galpharm Stadium and Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp said: ?We would have liked to have had Mick from the start but the quick turnaround is a punishing schedule and to have an Australian Test centre coming in is very good for morale.

?He?s ready to go. He knows all the calls and he gives us a nice lift for Monday.?

De Vere has recently recovered from a knee injury and stressed he cannot wait to make his Giants debut. He said: "I can't wait to get out there playing again and I've been looking forward to this day for a long time.

?The coaching staff have been superb with me in my recovery, but I now have my sights on the game against Salford and look forward to making my debut in front of the Galpharm Stadium crowd.

?It's been a long eight months, but the knee feels fine. I've been able to do full contact work for the past couple of weeks and know all the calls.

?I've settled in Huddersfield really well and look forward to repaying the faith that the club have shown me and hopefully everything will go according to plan and I can be part of successful Giants performance."

Huddersfield Giants v Salford City Reds, Galpharm Stadium, Monday March 28 2005

Huddersfield 18-man squad: Reilly, O'Hare, Evans, De Vere, Thorman, March, Slicker, Drew, Gannon, Nero, Roarty, Gene, Smith, Crabtree, Grayshon, White, Jackson, St Hilaire.

Salford 18-man squad: Hodgson, McAvoy, Littler, Beverley, Stewart, McGuinness, Robinson, Rutgerson, Alker, Stringer, Coley, Baldwin, Charles, Brocklehurst, Haggerty, Dickens, D. Bamford, Johnson.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick ________________________ Rhinos V Wildcats

Leeds Rhinos can equal Bradford Bulls? record unbeaten run of 21 Super League matches if they avoid defeat against Wakefield at Headingley in engage Super League on Monday.

The Wildcats have lost their last three matches, after making a promising start to the season, and only Widnes have conceded more points.

?It will be tough,? acknowledged Wakefield coach Shane McNally. ?It is a challenge for the players.

?But I?m not worried whether we win, lose or draw. What I?m worried about is the performance. I want to see a much-improved performance. That is the challenge. I am not concerned about the result.?

Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Headingley, Monday March 28 2005

Leeds 18-man squad: Mathers, Calderwood, Walker, Scruton, Senior, Bai, Sinfield, Burrow, Bailey, Botham, Ellis, McDermott, McDonald, McGuire, Poching, McKenna, Smith, Murrell.

Wakefield 18-man squad: M. Field, Halpenny, Demetriou, Houles, Tadulala, Rooney, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Solomona, J. Field, Wrench, Snitch, Elima, Applegarth, Kirk, Feather.

Referee: I Smith _________________________ Wolves V Vikings

Warrington and Widnes have announced their 20-man squads for Tuesday`s engage Super League clash.

Warrington v Widnes, The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Tuesday March 29

Warrington 20-man: Grose, Faa'fili, M. Gleeson, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Gaskell, Briers, Bridge, Lima, Stevens, Pickersgill, Bracek, Wainwright, Clarke, Appo, P. Wood, Swann, Royle, Hilton.

Widnes 20-man: Connolly, Emelio, Moule, O'Connor, O'Neill, Cassidy, Stankevitch, Finnigan, Hulse, Whitaker, Frame, Mills, Fa-alogo, Rowlands, Smith, Whittle, Nash, Ballard, Myler, Crook.m

Referee: R Laughton

Thanks to: http://www.superleague.co.uk for another excellent article.

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