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Category: St Helens

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Liam Finn’s penalties propel Wakefield to win over league leaders St Helens

• Wakefield 24-20 St Helens• Trinity reaffirm play-off hopes with victory over top sideWakefield became only the second side to defeat St Helens this season and ended a five-match losing run to reaffirm their credentials as potential play-off cont…

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Zeb Taia and Mark Percival inspire St Helens to win against Hull FC

• St Helens 26-12 Hull FC• Saints extend Super League lead to six pointsSt Helens extended their lead at the Super League summit to six points as they overcame the loss of their influential full-back, Ben Barba, to defeat an out-of-sorts Hull FC.This w…

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Ben Barba happy to concentrate on helping St Helens win trophies

• Full-back in fine form at start of Super League season• Australian linked with return home having served suspensionBen Barba is unlikely to make a decision on whether he will return to the National Rugby League next season until the end of the curren…

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St Helens end nine-year wait for Good Friday win over Wigan

• St Helens 21-18 Wigan• Saints open up a four-point gap at Super League summitIt is impossible to argue Justin Holbrook has not overseen a remarkable transformation at St Helens in little over a year in charge but you felt there was still one niggling…

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Ash Handley grabs two tries as Leeds end St Helens’ winning start

• St Helens 20-28 Leeds• Super League champions beat leaders after thrilling fightbackThe Leeds centre Ash Handley maintained his remarkable try-scoring record against St Helens as the Super League champions ended Saints’ 100% record this season.The sc…

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Mark Percival’s three tries drive unbeaten St Helens past Warrington

• Warrington 12-30 St Helens• Danny Richardson scores try and kicks five goalsSt Helens continue to set the pace in this new Super League season and perhaps the greatest compliment one can pay Justin Holbrook’s side is that even with this, their fifth …

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Super League: what we learned from the first round of fixtures

St Helens showed why they are favourites to win Super League in their thumping 46-6 win over CastlefordBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredSo the bookies are right again. St Helens showed exactly why they are favourites to win Super League; Castlef…

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St Helens’ Mark Percival stuns Castleford with hat-trick of tries

• St Helens 46-6 Castleford• Salford 12-40 Wigan; Hull KR 6-28 WakefieldSt Helens brought last season’s grand finalists Castleford down to earth with a bump on the opening Betfred Super League weekend.Saints thumped Cas 46-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadi…

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Super League 2018 team-by-team guide: glory for resurgent St Helens?

Can Castleford challenge again? How will Leeds fare without McGuire and Burrow? And can Widnes survive? Our guide to what to expectLast season 1st (lost Grand Final) Coach Daryl Powell Captain Michael Shenton Continue reading…

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Tom van Vollenhoven obituary

Outstanding rugby league player who scored 392 tries in 409 games for St HelensTom van Vollenhoven, who has died aged 82, was a rugby player of skill, dash and reputation remarkable even for a game that cherishes its great wing three-quarters. He playe…

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Luke Gale golden point beats St Helens and puts Castleford in Grand Final

• Castleford 23-22 St Helens
• Luke Gale scores winner 16 days after appendectomy

On nights like these, it seems unfortunate that someone has to lose. For Castleford’s critics, the argument had been for months that when the play-offs came around, the runaway Super League leaders would fail to cope with the expectations of a do-or-die play-off semi-final.

Next Saturday will dictate whether they have the credentials to go all the way and become Super League champions at Old Trafford, but this was a tick in the box which some believed Daryl Powell’s side were incapable of conquering. However, while Luke Gale’s drop goal – 16 days after emergency surgery to remove his appendix – was the game’s decisive moment, it does not even begin to describe 86 minutes of sporting drama which underline that when Super League is good, it is seriously good.

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St Helens in prime spot for semi-finals after win over Salford

• Super 8s: Salford 4-30 St Helens
• Wigan would need huge win to deny neighbours

Whether it is Castleford on Thursday or Leeds 24 hours later in the semi-finals, it is increasingly clear that St Helens are in no mood to let this season peter out with a whimper.

When Justin Holbrook arrived on these shores in May and inherited a side whose fate appeared more likely to be in a battle to avoid the Qualifiers as opposed to the race for Old Trafford, few would have fancied St Helens being in this position.

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Jonny Lomax the St Helens hero in dramatic win over Wakefield in Super 8s

• Super 8s: Wakefield Trinity 16-18 St Helens
• Trinity in charge for 78 minutes before centre’s all-important try

There are still plenty of twists and turns to follow in the final few weeks of this most enthralling of Super League seasons but quite how the scriptwriters drummed up this finale, with St Helens winning by two points at Wakefield is anyone’s guess.

Such has been the nature of an unpredictable year it has seemed entirely possible a club’s season could rest on a single play. It is perhaps typical of St Helens that, when they are in desperate need of something, anything, to stay alive, they somehow find it. Jonny Lomax’s try with two minutes remaining, which put the visitors ahead for the first and only time, was that moment but how Saints were aided by their opponents in the closing stages.

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Who will join Castleford and Leeds in the Super League play-offs?

With three rounds of games left, even eighth-place Huddersfield Giants can reach the play-offs – although prop Shannon Wakeman says it’s ‘extremely unlikely’

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Having watched Wigan and Leeds winning tricky fixtures on TV last week, you would be forgiven for assuming they will join League Leaders Castleford and Challenge Cup winners Hull FC in the play-off semi-finals at the end of the month. But Wakefield’s astonishing season, only overshadowed – much to their chagrin – by the sublime weekly exploits of their deadly rivals Cas, goes on. Beat St Helens on Thursday and they will end the Old Trafford dreams of not only Saints but Salford and Huddersfield, too. Wakefield will then be crossing everything that Hull see off Wigan again on Friday night. They would put Wakey three points clear with two games to go. Wins for Saints or Wigan and it becomes any two from four to join Cas and Leeds.

Before the last round, Huddersfield looked dark horses for the semis. If results had gone their way, they could have been just a point off fourth right now. Instead, they lost at home to Castleford and returned to the dressing room to hear that Wakefield had hammered Salford. That double whammy leaves Rick Stone’s Fartown almost certainly out of the play-off equation, five points adrift with only three games to play. However, imagine this: St Helens win at Wakey on Thursday, Hull beat Wigan on Friday and Huddersfield win at Salford on Saturday. It could happen – and the gap would be down to three points with two rounds left!

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St Helens’ Ben Barba overshadowed by Wigan’s superb Sean O’Loughlin

• Super 8s: St Helens 16-26 Wigan
• Wigan still have Grand Final chance

Wigan’s defence of their Super League title they won last October has been littered with suggestions Shaun Wane’s side are incapable of retaining the trophy next month in the Grand Final.

And on occasions that scepticism has not been without reason – but as the calendar ticks over into September Wigan are beginning to peak at just the right time once again. And what a night they chose to prove it, as the Ben Barba fanfare in St Helens was silenced by their fiercest rivals.

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Ryan Hall celebrates 300th outing with try as Leeds beat St Helens

• Rhinos surge three points clear of third-placed Hull FC in Super 8s
• Wigan trounce Salford 42-6 while Huddersfield hammer Hull 46-18

The England winger, Ryan Hall, marked his 300th appearance for Leeds with a crucial try to help them get back on course for a home semi-final.

Related: Castleford secure first league title after overpowering Wakefield

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St Helens’ Matty Smith: ‘The doctors told me I was lucky not to lose my sight’ | Aaron Bower

The scrum-half’s Super League club are in the play-offs but he is just happy to be playing again after a poke in the eye left him sitting in the changing room with ‘people trying to do all sorts to stem the blood’

As the doctors hurried around Matty Smith and the ambulance was being prepared to take him to Leeds General infirmary, what at first seemed like a minor moment of frustration quickly transformed into a potentially life-changing situation. Rugby players are renowned for being tough and, thankfully, Smith is now able to raise a smile when he is reminded that what was nothing more than a stray poke in the eye from a St Helens team-mate almost cost him much more than a few weeks on the sidelines.

A little over four weeks ago, Smith was hit with a stray hand from Jon Wilkin during a game against Leeds. At first it seemed innocuous enough but the severity of the situation became apparent quickly as blood began to pour from his left eye. “At the time, I wasn’t sure the eyeball was still in the socket,” Smith says with a grin on his face.

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Widnes suspend Rangi Chase after positive test for cocaine

• Chase to miss opening Qualifiers home match with Warrington
• St Helens produce masterclass to shock Castleford 26-12 in Super 8s

Rangi Chase, the former England international and man of steel winner, has been suspended by Widnes after testing positive for cocaine.

Related: Widnes Vikings face move out of rugby league heartland if club is sold

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Leeds youngsters keep St Helens at bay thanks to late Ryan Hall try

• Leeds Rhinos 24-22 St Helens
• Rhinos move up to second with full-back Jack Walker outstanding

This may not go down as one of Leeds’ most eye-catching displays of 2017 but it could certainly turn out to be one of the more important. The emergence of exciting talent has been commonplace in the Rhinos’ recent history and, in the absence of so much experience here, how thankful Leeds were to two promising prospects as they strengthened their position in Super League’s top four with the final weeks of the regular season approaching.

The rigours of last season and Leeds’ unlikely battle against relegation seem a good while ago with the Rhinos sitting second in Super League this year. But the class of 2016 may not have been able to overcome the loss of such senior players to grind out a victory which, come the end of the season, could be priceless.

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RFL confirms it is discussing central contracts with top Super League players

• St Helens says Jonny Lomax is one of those handed a deal by the RFL
• Understood George Williams, Mike McMeeken and Kallum Watkin are in talks

The Rugby Football League has confirmed it is in discussions with a number of leading Super League players about becoming centrally contracted with the sport’s governing body.

Leading members of the RFL’s hierarchy, including the former Leeds and England captain, Kevin Sinfield, have identified a number of players to become the first in the sport to be awarded central contracts, after St Helens confirmed on Monday that their full-back, Jonny Lomax, would be among those to benefit from the deals created as part of the radical proposals approved this year to try and retain the competition’s best talent.

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