St Helens marched to a 14-6 victory at the Grand Final last season and they look set to get off to winnings ways again when the Catalans come to town on Friday evening.
Super League kicks off tonight, Widnes playing host to Wigan at the Select Security Stadium. It’s St Helens on Friday evening and the visitors to Langtree Park are Catalans Dragons.
The French side surprised many last season by reaching the Qualifying semi-finals, suffering a thorough 30-12 defeat at the hands of tomorrow’s opponents St Helens.
The hosts will be looking to get off to a great start on their way to defending their title and will be in high spirits despite missing scrum-half Luke Walsh through injury. Walsh suffered a fractured ankle in the match against Widnes late last season and had hopes of returning for this match, however he will now be focusing on the forthcoming World Club Challenge match with South Sydney later this month.
Saints’ new coach Keith Cunningham will be confident of starting his tenure with a win and the bookies certainly share his optimism by making the hosts firm favourites at 4/11.
The Dragons will be without the services of their preferred scrum-half Scott Dureau thanks to a groin injury. Thomas Bosc will be his replacement and will partner Todd Carney in the halves.
We’re not expecting anything in the way of a shock in this clash. The Saints were clinical in their way to the title last season and we expect them to start this new season in similar fashion.
Our betting tips
St Helens win, winning margin 13+ Ladbrokes 11/8
First Scoring Team, St Helens – Betfred 4/6
All odds were correct at time of posting.