Yates' view: Lomax's battle with Gaskell should be one to savour

Jonny Lomax. Picture: SWPix
Jonny Lomax. Picture: SWPix
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By a strange quirk of fate Saints and Huddersfield Giants will go into Friday's Betfred Super League encounter at the Totally Wicked Stadium with the same aim - to erase last weekend's agonising golden point extra-time defeats from their memories.


League leaders and title favourites St Helens crashed 23-22 at London Broncos and the Giants lost in similar circumstances against hosts Castleford Tigers - leaving both with a point to prove.

Justin Holbrook's side cannot afford many more slip ups if they are to repel the continued challenge of the Warrington Wolves in both the race for the Super League crown and the coveted Coral Challenge Cup and while resting the likes of Regan Grace and Matty Lees and without injured skipper James Roby, the return of Johnny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Zeb Taia and
Alex Walmsley tomorrow will strengthen their hand against opponents who can either be hot,or cold.

Key to how the West Yorkshire outfit perform may well rest on the influence of Lee Gaskell, whose professional career started with home town club club St Helens in 2010.

The 28-year-old stand-off scored a hat-trick at Castleford in the club's previous game last Friday but still finished on the wrong end of a 27-26 golden point extra-time scoreline.

St Helens boss Holbrook, however, is fully aware of the threat posed by the former Blackbrook Royals youngster.

The Australian coach said: “Huddersfield have been playing really well and so, too, has Lee. He a big running threat with a great kicking game.

''Huddersfield also boast a big forward pack and are a really good and dangerous team.''

On the other side of the fence, however, Holbrook will have on-song Lomax at his disposal after a week's rest and, significantly, the only two occasions when Saints have lost the versatile one-club man has been an absentee.

He is the joint 10th try scorer in Super League, grabbing 10 touchdowns, while also contributing 15 assists. and making 60 tackle busts so far in 2019 and will be hoping to out-smart his ex-team mate in the middle of the park on the night.