Tony Smith: We want to delay Saints getting the shield

Warrington coach Tony Smith wants to delay St Helens winning the League Leader’s Shield by at least another week – and keep his side’s hopes of finishing second alive in the process.

The local rivals lock horns tonight in what is set to be a thrilling encounter, with Saints needing just a point to guarantee top spot in Super League.

“They are a good team. They’ve done well without some key players at different times like we’ve all had to do,” Smith said.

“Without Jonny Lomax, Luke Walsh and Jon Wilkin, Nathan’s done a terrific job keeping them going and making those adjustments; playing without regular halfbacks and still doing a good job, all credit to them.

“But we’d like to delay the league leaders title from them, if we could, for another week and keep our hopes alive of a possible second position finish. It will come down to who performs well. We will be pretty determined and I’m sure Saints will be too.

“They put the clangers through us in the first week of the competition at our place and we bounced back at Magic Weekend.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we played each other again after this at some stage. We’ve got another chance to take the bragging rights. They are a good team and we have a healthy respect for them. May the best team win after two very good teams perform well.”