St Helens boss Kristian Woolf pinpoints key danger ahead of Huddersfield Giants clash

Kristian WoolfKristian Woolf
Kristian Woolf
Kristain Woolf rates Friday’s ‘dangerous opponents’ as definite top four contenders.

Saints lead Wigan Warriors by four points at the summit of Super League going into the last nine regular season fixtures. Their record over the last three years during the run-in suggests an unprecedented fourth successive Grand Final victory may just be around the corner.

But no one at the Totally Wicked Stadium will be counting their chickens before they hatch and title rivals Huddersfield Giants, who visit St Helens on Friday, will present a testing challenge.

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Saints won the previous meeting 24-12 at the John Smith’s Stadium in April but head coach Kristian Woolf insisted: "Huddersfield are dangerous opponents who we respect and are definitely top four contenders.

"They are also happy to play a high percentage game with a set-for-set mentality and we face a stiff task. We may be in a strong position at the moment but it doesn’t mean the job is done."

Woolf said he would also continue to place his faith in stand-in goalkicker Jon Bennison. A dearth of genuine kickers caused by the long-term absence of Lewis Dodd and injuries to Tommy Makinson and Mark Percival left little option other than to turn to the teenager, who didn’t have the best of days in terms of landing goals against Wigan last weekend.

But the head coach declared: "Sometimes you can have an off-day kicking-wise but you should remember he is only a young man playing in a high pressure game which resembled a final and I have every confidence in him."

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The War of the Roses battle also sees the return of half back Theo Fages to his old stomping ground for the first time since moving to the Giants at the end of last season and he will want to prove a point as Woolf is fully aware, describing him as ‘a rock solid competitors with a wide range of skills’.

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