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Rhinos Look to Cup Last Eight
Posted by southstander on May 19 2011 - 14:05:04

Fallen from Grace
Just under three months ago, Leeds met the Harlequins at Headingley for a Superleague fixture which saw the visitors run out comfortable 36-26 winners. It was a game which showed the Rhinos early season frailty and started a run of just two wins in seven games as the Rhinos season got off to a shocking start.

But three months is a long time in Rugby League and with Leeds now unbeaten for five we are the hot favourites to knock the now struggling 'Quins out of the Cup.

We preview the game, read more here...

Leeds are still missing Brent Webb and Danny McGuire after they picked up injuries in the last round against the Crusaders. Chris Clarkson is back in the nineteen, despite being stretchered off in the same game, and it is Jay Pitts who is the unfortunate one who makes way. Ali Lauiti'iti could make his latest comeback as a recall disrupts his summer of relaxation.

Zak Hardaker will get another chance on the wing outside Delaney as Smith covers full-back. The Featherstone youngster will be hoping that he can continue his scoring run with three in his two full appearances.

Leeds are on the crest of a wave, and the passes that were going to ground in early season are now sticking in hand, and it can only get better as McGuire and Webb return over the next couple of weeks.

Big Mac names his nineteen as; Smith, Delaney, Senior, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Laitit'iti, Bailey, Kirke, Burgess, Hauraki, Clarkson, McShane and Hardaker. No idea which two will be left out, perhaps Bailey and Hauraki?

Rob Powell has seen his side transform from league leaders to also-rans in the space of six weeks. Early in the season they were unbeatable, but now anyone with a bit of gumption can run in a cricket score.

He'll be relieved to see ave Howell and Luke Dorn back in his side after injury but isn't able to select Karl Pryce or Lee Mitchell as they are cup tied.

He names a nineteen with four ex-Rhinos in its ranks as; Ambler, Bailey, Bolger, Burnett, Calderwood, Clubb, Dorn, Ellis, Gale, Howell, Kouparitsas, Krasniqi, Melling, O'Callaghan, Randall, Temata, Ward, Wilkes, and Williams.

Three Ex-Rhinos 'Quins to keep an eye on;


Calders

Wardy

Gale

The Rhinos have played 'the London side' on five occasions in the Challenge Cup and have won on every occasion. Most memorable, of course, was that famous record breaking day at Wembley in 1999 when Iestyn Harris lifted the famous trophy against the then London Broncos.

The last game between the sides ended in Quins victory as Leeds overcomplicated everything and delivered the 'Quins enough mistakes for them to win convincingly.

The last league game that the 'Quins won was back in March and since then they've shipped in a couple of big scores (82 against Warrington and 54 last week against Wigan). Although they did get themselves a massive 70-0 win away at Gateshead in the last round.

There can only be one winner of this...surely!

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 26 12 Quins

The bookies are giving the 'Quins a twenty-four point start on the coupon which is a massive margin for an all Superleague tie. Even Bradford haven't been gives that size of start against the Warriors!

There is a high chance of rain tomorrow according to the forecast for tomorrow evening looks dry and warmish with temperatures dipping away towards kick-off. There should be no complaints about the conditions and we are set for an open game.

Travel safe and enjoy the game.

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