Saints guaranteed top spot heading into Super 8s

Mark Percival
Mark Percival
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Saints will go into their final three games of the regular season guaranteed top spot in the Betfred Super League table, starting at Hull FC tonight (Friday).

Whatever the result on Humberside and subsequent fixtures against Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves, they cannot be caught as the business end of the campaign draws closer.

Only Wigan - now six points adrift of their arch-rivals and only two games to play - had kept on their tails during the best part of 2018 but that is now mathematically impossible following their surprise 20-12 setback at Huddersfield last night (Thursday).

Justin Holbrook’s boys are worthy table-toppers as the Super 8s approach but they won’t be resting on their laurels yet, judging by the powerful-looking squad they have selected for the trip to the KCOM Stadium.

It will be the third meeting of the season between the cross-Pennine rivals with St Helens having won the previous two in front of their own fans - 26-12 in Super League and 25-22 in the quarter finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup - and is likely to be yet another closely run affair.

Full back Ben Barba is one of three regular first team players who returns to the squad after a one-match absence through injury and will be hoping to add to his haul of 20 tries - the most in the league competition to date - and he is followed by team-mate and centre Mark Percival on 17.

Scrum half Danny Richardson also heads the points chart with 203 and like Toulouse’s Mark Kheirallah has scored in the last 22 matches.

Richardson’s unbroken streak began on the opening day of the 2018 campaign when Castleford Tigers were crushed 46-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium.