IT’S showtime on Friday... and what a spectacle this should be, with Saints hopefully heading back to the top of the Betfred Super League.

We go into the game having lost our 100 per cent record, after last week’s 18-10 defeat to the battling Catalan Dragons, while the Wolves coasted to a convincing 48-12 win over the London Broncos to go top of the league on points difference.

No excuses for the defeat, but there’s no doubt a couple of factors contributed to the loss.

First and foremost, those horrendous weather conditions have to get a mention. As a team player who loves to play free-flowing rugby, we have never been a club that handles wet conditions the best and that was evident last Saturday.

Also numerous injury problems – mainly in the halves – was a factor. Missing both Theo Fages and Jonny Lomax no doubt had a massive bearing on the performance, along with the energy of LMS. However, in Rugby League these things happen and you’ve got to find a way of adapting.

There was more than enough talent within that Saints team to return from France with two points... so maybe it was, as coach Justin Holbrook said post-match, that Catalans just wanted it more!

When it comes to this Friday the defeat in Perpignan may not be a totally bad thing as it might sharpen the team to turn in a top performance against a side who are running hot.

Saints, despite losing their first game of the season, are slight favourites for the tie at 4/7, with Wire 11/8 to take the glory.

I think this game could really go down to the wire and possibly see our first golden point of the season (draw – 18/1 at Betfred), if not a narrow home win by 6pts (6/5 with Betfred).

There are a number of game-breakers on both sides. Some of the key battles include Blake Austin and Jonny Lomax - two players having an outstanding season so far and who love to take on defences.

Stefan Ratchford and Lachlan Coote - two smart full-backs, positionally outstanding, who can carve up defensive lines with either their running game or subtle passing and kicking skills.

Darryl Clark and James Roby - both of these are dynamic out of dummy half and very smart footballers. Who will get on top with Hill/Philbin v Walmsley/Thompson and co to allow these two to cause trouble?

Whatever the tactics adopted by good friends and fellow head coaches Justin Holbrook and Steve Price, I’m sure we are set for the game of the season so far!