Super League: Sunday talking points and team news | Rugby League News

Tommy Makinson returns for St Helens as they host Castleford

Tommy Makinson returns for St Helens as they host Castleford

We take a look at what’s being said and squad news as round 22 of the Betfred Super League season concludes with three games on Sunday…

St Helens v Castleford Tigers (1pm)

Christian Wolff believes the return of Tommy Makinson will prove beneficial for St Helens for a host of reasons when they host Castleford on Sunday.

The Saints are looking to bounce back from a shock 44-12 defeat away to Salford Red Devils last week and move a step closer to securing the league leaders’ shield this year.

Accomplished experienced scorer and goalscorer Makinson is ready to return after four games and head coach Wolff sees him bringing more than his scoring ability to the team.

“The way he carries the yardage, the way he puts his arm up to make 18 to 20 carries a game, the job he does on defense, the job he does in terms of his position and the way he can finished, he has a lot of qualities he brings to the team,” Wolff said in his pre-match press conference.

“Probably one of the most important is his positivity; he is talkative, always positive and always ready to compete. He brings positive energy to the group and coming off the back of a performance we weren’t happy with, that’s going to be important.”

Dan Norman and Sam Royle also return to St Helens’ 21-man squad, while Curtis Sironen has been ruled fit after picking up a biceps injury in Salford. However, Agnatius Paasi is out due to concussion protocols.

St Helens winger Tommy Makinson intercepted and ran 85 meters to score a sensational solo try against Leeds Rhinos earlier in the season.

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St Helens winger Tommy Makinson intercepted and ran 85 meters to score a sensational solo try against Leeds Rhinos earlier in the season.

St Helens winger Tommy Makinson intercepted and ran 85 meters to score a sensational solo try against Leeds Rhinos earlier in the season.

Sosaya Feki is included in Castleford’s squad for the first time in 2022, while Gareth O’Brien, Alex Mellor and Chase Blair also return.

Castleford beat St Helens 30-10 at home in April to record a rare away win over the reigning champions in their last visit to the Totally Wicked Stadium, although head coach Lee Radford knows his side need to get off to a better start than last year’s derby week with a 32-6 loss against Wakefield.

“We looked tired from the start,” Radford said. “The real test in a rugby league game is the kick-offs and we failed miserably in that part. I felt we looked very pale with the ball.

“Looks like we fell down the stairs. We’re going to have to dust ourselves off and get back to what works for us.”

Highlights from the Super League match between Salford Red Devils and St Helens.

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Highlights from the Super League match between Salford Red Devils and St Helens.

Highlights from the Super League match between Salford Red Devils and St Helens.

Named squads

St Helens: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Robbie, Matty Lees, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lucick, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Jake Wingfield, James Bell, Ben Davies, Conrad Hurrell, Dan Norman, Sam Royle, John Bennison, Louis Baxter, Dan Hill, Taylor Pemberton.

Castleford Tigers: Derrell Olferts, Buretta Faraimo, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Kenny Edwards, Adam Milner, Joe Westerman, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Alex Sutcliffe, Greg Eden, Chase Blair, Suaya Matagi, Brad Martin, Sam Hall, Sosaya Feki , Gareth O’Brien, Kane Robb, Jason Karekare, Alex Meller.

Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils (3pm)

Rohan Smith expects more improvement to come from his Leeds side as they launch a late push for a place in the Super League play-offs.

Back-to-back wins over high-flying Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons mean the Rhinos go into Sunday’s game hot on the heels of the teams above them, fighting for sixth place in the table.

Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.

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Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.

Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.

One of those is this week’s visitors Headingley to Salford and head coach Smith is encouraged by what he has seen from his side, especially after last week’s 36-32 Golden Points win over Catalans Dragons.

“We train to be able to finish games strong, which has been the case in most of our recent games,” Smith said.

“I love the team I have; we have a role to play in trying to build our roster, but I love our group, it’s a journey and we’re getting better week in and week out.

“We haven’t played our first-choice team yet, so I’m still hoping there’s more improvement in us.”

After back-to-back wins against Catalans Dragons and St Helens, Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley gets his chance to respond to Jon Wilkin regarding his comments about his team earlier in the season.

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After back-to-back wins against Catalans Dragons and St Helens, Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley gets his chance to respond to Jon Wilkin regarding his comments about his team earlier in the season.

After back-to-back wins against Catalans Dragons and St Helens, Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley gets his chance to respond to Jon Wilkin regarding his comments about his team earlier in the season.

Leeds are without Matt Prior, who begins a two-match ban following his red card in the win over the Catalans, with Zane Tetevano and David Fusitua returning to the 21-man squad.

Salford have Shane Wright, Harvey Livett and Tyler Dupree back for the trip to Rhinos as they aim to build on last week’s win over St Helens.

“Without sounding sloppy, that’s what we’re aiming for,” said Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley, named Super League coach of the month for July.

“From day one, the boys worked very hard. Things like this don’t happen by accident, they are the result of hard work.”

Named squads

Leeds Rhinos: David Fuzitua, Harry Newman, Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Handley, Aidan Sezer, Mikolaj Oledzki, James Bentley, Rhys Martin, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler, Cameron Smith, Boden Thompson, Morgan Gannon, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor, James Donaldson, Corey Johnson, Muiz Mustafa, Liam Tindall, Zach Hardaker.

Salford Red Devils: Ryan Brierley, Ken Sio, Callum Watkins, Tim Lafay, Joe Burgess, Brodie Croft, Mark Sneyd, Sitaleki Akawola, Andy Akers, Greg Burke, Shane Wright, Elijah Taylor, Ryan Lannon, Harvey Livett, Chris Atkin, Jack Ormondroyd, Dan Sarginson , Sam Luckley, Deon Cross, Alex Gerrard, Tyler Dupree.

Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons (3pm)

Sam Tomkins knows the Catalans need to start producing more consistent displays if they are to repeat last year’s Super League grand final appearance.

The Dragons are fourth in the table after last week’s defeat at Leeds and have not enjoyed a three-game winning streak in April and May.

England captain Tomkins felt the loss to Rhinos highlighted their inconsistency and he doubted the team were playing to their full potential.

“Over the last month we’ve been inconsistent and the last weekend showed that,” Tomkins said. “The first 60 minutes were very good and the last 60 minutes were very bad, so we have to change that.

“If we look at the squad we have, we are still not at our potential, but we are still in fourth position. We’re not happy, but we’re still fourth.”

The Catalans have not been helped by injuries and suspensions this season but will welcome back Tom Davies and Tyrone May for Sunday’s trip to Wakefield.

Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.

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Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.

Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.

Trinity head into the game buoyed by last week’s derby win over Castleford and looking to put more breathing space between themselves and bottom side Toulouse Olympique.

“The battle is still on, there’s a long way to go and the challenge for us … is to go and do it again,” head coach Willie Poching said.

Named squads

Wakefield Trinity: Jacob Miller, Mason Lino, Eddie Batty, Liam Hood, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jordie Crowther, Jai Whitbread, James Batchelor, Lee Gaskell, Lee Kershaw, Brad Walker, Yusuf Ayden, Louis Murphy, Isaac Shaw, Corey Hall , David Fifita, Kyle Evans, Josh Bowden, Jamie Shaul.

Catalan Dragons: Arthur Murg, Tom Davies, Samisoni Langhi, Dean Ware, Fouad Yaha, Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater, Michael McIlorum, Alrics Da Costa, Benjamin, Julien, Paul Seguier, Mikael Gudemand, Arthur Romano, Tyrone May, Corentin Le Cam, Matthew Cosa , Cesar Rouge, Romain Franco, Sam Casiano, Sam Tomkins, Tiaki Chan.

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