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Posted by southstander on September 02 2011 - 08:52:40

After last weeks crushing disappointment at Wembley I am really struggling to get excited about tonights penultimate Superleague fixture against the Wildcats. If I feel down in the dumps and apathetic I dread to think how the lads must be feeling.

But the Leeds Rhinos are professionals, I hope, and they know that they need to register a good win against John Kears basement side to push them into the play-offs on a positive note.

Read more here...

The Rhinos have lost Burrow, Webb and Clarkson to cup final injuries and so McDermott drafts in Hardaker, McShane and Lee Smith. Ali Lauiti'iti is named in the nineteen, as he was for saturday, and is likely to get a chance to play against his team mates for 2012. Jay Pitts is also in a nineteen of; Smith, Delaney, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Bailey, Kirke, Watkins, Hauraki, Clarkson, Pitts, Jones-Bishop, and Hardaker.

Any seventeen from that nineteen is possible - and I'm all past predicting what McDermott will do - as I rarely get it right.

John Kear has just two more games in charge of the Wildcats and he'll be calling for a big game from his troops, despite the bookies not giving them a chance. The 'Cats have lost eight on the bounce and there is little indication that they will end that run tonight.

The visitors squad is down to the bare bones thanks to several mid-season exits when the financial crisis bit down hard. Kear names a ninteen of; Korkidas, Rinaldi, Morrison, Lee, Tony, P. Johnson, Morton, Gledhill, Howarth, Veivers, Davey, Higgins, Wildie, Griffin, Amor, Moore, Hickey, Tadulala, and Tongia.

Three Wildcats to keep an eye on;




The Rhinos have played the Wildcats twice this season, the Festive Challenge which saw us record a 40-22 win and the Superleague visit to Belle Vue when the Rhinos were comfortable 26-08 winners.

The last time that the Rhinos lost to the Wildcats was on a trip away in February 2010 when the home side won 18-28. The last time tonights visitors won at Headingley was by 16-23 in 2007. Prediction
Rhinos 34 06 Wildcats

This is a game that we should win, and win by some margin. The bookies are giving us an eighteen point start but I think that we should be able to eclipse that without too many problems, even without Burrow and Webb.

Todays forecast is for it to be a little overcast but with very little chance of rain. It should be good conditions for open rugby, lets all hope that we have shaken off the cup final hangover and turn up with our 'A' game.

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