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St Helens vs Warrington Wolves
St Helens take on their North West rivals, the Warrington Wolves in the first Super League Play-Off Semi-Final of the 2018 season and the great news for fans of both teams, and for rugby fans in general, is that you can watch all of the action from this highly anticipate match up live online via our Rugby League live streaming partners.
St Helens were the dominant force in the regular Super League season and after a strong showing in the Super 8s, they comfortably picked up the League Leaders Shield but after a disappointing exit in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, Saints will know that a loss in this play-off semi-final will make what was looking to be a hugely promising and successful season and overall disappointing one- Such is the fine lines of success and failure in the Super League.
Warrington have looked strong at times this season but then have struggled at times and whilst they did make the Challenge Cup final, where they lost disappointingly to the Dragons, another loss in this game would also make a promising season disappointing one for the Wolves.
After some poor performance in the Super 8’s, the Wolves will have been relieved to have picked up a moral boosting win away at Wakey in the last round of the season last time out but they will know that they will have to be much improved against St Helens and after been behind for much of that game, they will also know that they simply cannot let Saints get on top in this one as they have shown themselves to be the league best front runners.
St Helens have won each of their last 4 matches and they of course finished top of the table in the Super League and the Super 8s.
Warrington have won 3 of their last 5 but just 1 of their last 3 and they finished 4th in the league.
Saint shave won just 3 of their last 5 at home but they have won their last 2 whilst Warrington have won just 1 of their last 5 on the road but that 1 win did come last time out.
St Helens have won all 3 of the teams previous meeting this season with only 1 of them been close.
Aside from long term injuries, Saints are at full strength with Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson and Jon Wilkin all back after been rested against Castleford.
Warrington also strengthen with Tom Lineham back from a ban and their first choice half back pairing of Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts are back from injury.
As should always be the case in a play-off semi-final, this match is incredibly difficult to predict and it could easily go either way.
Saints will be the favourites for many as the home team and with this been 1st v 4th from the league table but form and those final positions count for little in these winner takes all knock out games.
It more often than not comes down to which team can handle the pressure the better and on the evidence of the cup semi finals, that will be in the favour of the Wolves but what will work against them is having to play away from home as having the backing of your own fans can prove a massive advantage.
Both teams do have lot’s of experience of big games and of knock out rugby so both should be able to handle the pressure as best as you can and that should give us a fanstic match but with things set to be close throughout, you are relying on special players to produce special moments and whist Warrington are a fantastic team, Saints have those players capable of producing those special moments.
Score Prediction St Helens by 8