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Rampant Dragon Needs Slaying
Posted by southstander on May 13 2011 - 09:05:34

New Gaffa
In a season which has been dominated by injuries we are once again talking about who is missing from the Rhinos line-up to face Superleagues form team, the Catalan Dragons.

Last weeks cup progression came at the cost of Danny McGuire, Brent Webb and Chris Clarkson, mercifully they are all minor injuries, but all wil be absent for the next few weeks.

We preview the game, read more here...

Small consolation for Big Mac is that he can welcome back Ali Lauiti'iti for his first game since the 19th March and Zak Hardaker gets a chance of his second game in Rhinos colours after injuring himself in a domestic accident days after his try juggling try-scoring debut in the loss against Saints.

Rumour was that McDermott was going to give the skipper a hard earned rest for todays games but the new injury to McGuire now leaves these plans in tatters and Sinfield will once again be heavily relied upon against a Catalans side who have every chance of bringing the Rhinos winning run to a juddering halt.

Jones-Buchanan and TMFMISL are both back in the nineteen after having a rest last weekend and Hauraki will be keen to take his chance to get back into favour with the boss should he get the nod for tonights seventeen. The Leeds nineteen is; Smith, Delaney, Senior, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Bailey, Kirke, Burgess, Hauraki, Pitts, McShane, and Hardaker. I've no idea which two will miss out, Big Mac is predicatably unpredictable.

The Dragons coach Trent Robinson will give a debut to William Barthau at half-back after their leading scorer Scott Dureau failed to recover from a hamstring injury. Ben Farrar and prop Remi Casty are both out with knee problems but the excellent Setaimata Sa is back in the squad after missing the last two matches.

The Dragons are unbeaten in their last six, a winning run back to the 26th March which has seen them pick up maximum points against three out of the leagues top four (Warrington, Wigan and Huddersfield). The Dragons are no pushovers. make no mistake if we win tonight we'll have worked very hard for it.

The Dragons ninteen is named as a heavily French, and very strong looking; Blanch, Sa, Stacul, Bosc, Ferriol, Henderson, Raguin, Mounis, Gigot, Baile, Barthau, Vaccari, Simon, Martins, Fakir, Baitieri, Pelissier, Pala, and Touxagas.

Three Dragons to keep an eye on;




This is the seasons first meeting between these two with the return fixture in France in two months time. Leeds won both fixtures comfortably last season with a 52-6 win at Headingley following a 34-24 win in Perpignan earlier in the season.

The Dragons have never won against the Rhinos at Headingley but they do have a couple of victories (in eleven meetings), the most recent being in France in June 2009 when they beat us 32-30. Prediction
Rhinos 24 20 Dragons

I'm going for a narrow Rhinos win but am more than a little bit nervous that this is a game that we could easily lose to a side sitting level with us on points. A Leeds win and a loss for Castleford would see us lifted to fifth in the table, however, a loss will see us drop down to seventh.

The bookies have given the visitors an eight point start on the coupon which I think is a little excessive given current form. I think that it will be much closer than that.

The forecast is for rain this afternoon turning to occasional showers through the game. That could make the game a bit more of a lottery.

Travel safe and enjoy the game.

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