Former Saint Paul Clough back to face former club for career milestone

Paul; Clough scores for Saints at Wembley in 2007. Picture: SWPix
Paul; Clough scores for Saints at Wembley in 2007. Picture: SWPix

Saints have plundered more than 300 points in their last 10 encounters against Huddersfield Giants but head coach Justin Holbrook is preparing for a tougher than normal challenge on Friday night.

The struggling West Yorkshire outfit are not out of the woods mathematically in the battle to avoid relegation to the Championsip but two points at the Totally Wicked Stadium, where they last won 16-12 in the opening round of the Super 8s in August, 2018, would more or less end any worries.

Neither is the point lost on Saints' head coach Justin Holbrook who said that the Giants - boosted by their win at Hull FC - would be 'up for the fight.'

None more so than 31-year-old Paul Clough who started his career with home town club St Helens and if selected on Friday will make his 250th Super League career appearance.

Clough, equally at home at prop or second row, made his Saints' debut in 2005 and went on to clock up 166 appearances.

He had a loan spell at Widnes Vikings where he featured 12 times in 2014 and is now set to reach 72 games in a Giants' shirt, having joined the club in 2017 following a two-year spell with Championship club Bradford Bulls.

Elsewhere, London Broncos, who have confounded the critics who tipped them for a swift return to the Championship by winning a third of their 27 games so far, could finally lose their battle for survival if results go against them on Friday night.

The Londoners' penultimate fixture is against their nearest rivals in the table, Hull KR, who are one of three teams just two points in front of them but with a superior points difference, so defeat at KCOM Craven Park is unthinkable for Danny Ward's men.

Wakefield and the Giants, the other two clubs still not safe from relegation, face testing away games against Challenge Cup finalists Warrington and Saints, who have an opportunity to remain unbeaten at home for the first time since 2002.

On a busy Friday night, the battle for semi-final places intensifies with form teams Wigan and Salford taking on Catalans Dragons and Leeds respectively.

Salford are enjoying their best-ever run in Super League with six straight wins but have not won at Headingley for more than 10 years.


St Helens 38, Huddersfield 2 (SLR18, 14/6/19)

Huddersfield 16, St Helens 22 (CCR6, 12/5/19)

Huddersfield 12, St Helens 40 (SLR6, 14/3/19)

St Helens 12, Huddersfield 16 (SLS8-R1, 10/8/18)

St Helens 66, Huddersfield 4 (SLR12, 20/4/18)

Huddersfield 12, St Helens 26 (SLR3, 23/2/18)

St Helens 40, Huddersfield 16 (SLS8-R6, 15/9/17)

Huddersfield 24, St Helens 16 (SLR16, 16/6/17)

St Helens 14, Huddersfield 14 (SLR8, 7/4/17)

Huddersfield 18, St Helens 34 (SLR22, 17/7/16)


St Helens won 38 (includes wins in 2009 and 2010 play-offs)

Huddersfield won 12

1 draw

St Helens highest score: 68-18 (h, 1998). Widest margin: 66-4, h, 2018)

Huddersfield highest score: 48-20 (Magic Weekend. Widest margin: 40-4, a, 2013)