DESPITE a revival in fortunes against St Helens in recent years, Wolves’ record against their bitter rivals at The Halliwell Jones Stadium makes for grim reading.
The notorious hoo doo may have been broken, but one win at home in the last 10 years shows that Wolves have plenty to be wary about tonight, Thursday.
Even when Saints suffered one of their weakest starts to a Super League season last year, they still managed a 22-10 win over Tony Smith’s men, and there is no question that Nathan Brown’s side are more formidable in 2014.
Best mates from their days at St George Illawarra, Smith and Brown were each singing the others’ praises in recent interviews.
New pack signings Mose Masoe, who is currently injured, Kyle Amor and Richard Beaumont add some grunt to an already powerful forward unit, while they have also drafted in former Penrith Panthers scrum half Luke Walsh to help guide them around the park.
That was a missing key element in 2013, with Saints needing to draft in Wolves’ Gareth O’Brien for a spell to help them out.
Stand off could still be an issue, with Jon Wilkin, Lance Hohaia, Paul Wellens, Jonny Lomax and more recently Jordan Turner filling that gap when called upon, but it is an area in which Saints will hope that Gary Wheeler can perform for them against Wolves tonight.
Perennial Super League Dream Team hooker James Roby is no newcomer, but having missed 16 of 30 matches last year, his return to full fitness will mean he will feel like a new signing.
The 28-year-old was a huge miss for Saints and his return to the fray in his Tesimonial year will surely keep Wolves busy around the ruck.