St Helens forward warns of fiery Dragons

Zeb Taia brings down Jake Webster during Saints' win over Castleford on Friday
Zeb Taia brings down Jake Webster during Saints' win over Castleford on Friday
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Saints will be hoping to replicate their stunning opening day victory over Castleford Tigers when they face Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday night - but will be wise to take heed of a warning from a player who has been on both sides of the fence

Second rower Zeb Taia spent three season with the French club (2013, 2014 and 2015) and knows how difficult they are to beat in front of what will be a noisy and demanding crowd at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Taia, who joined Saints last February as part of a swap deal which led to Joe Greenwood heading in the opposite direction to the Gold Coast Titans, said: “Visiting teams are always given a hostile reception, both on and off the field, and after their 40-12 defeat at Widnes on Sunday the Dragons will have a point to prove.”

The 33-year old Australian-born New Zealand and Cook Islands international added: “It will be a tough and difficult game but we can only worry about ourselves, ccontrol our destiny and hope to come away with a victory.

“It is a question of flying-in, get the job done, and flying out again on the same day.”

Head coach Justin Holbrook said: “The Dragons will be disappointed by the manner of their defeat at Widnes and will have a point to prove in what will be their first home game of the season.

“They are a tough and physical side and we will face a big challenge for sure.”

Aussie centre Ryan Morgan, who was forced to leave the field with concussion during Friday’s clash against Castleford Tigers, will face a mandatory head test to see if he is fit to be included in the initial19-man squad.

Holbrook said: “I don’t want to be chopping and changing my players every week.

“Part of the side I select will be based on the opposition we face and what is required and that’s how I approached round one.

“I wouldn’t say the team is locked in but when you play as well as we did against Castleford, then you aren’t going to leave too many players out.”