The Rhinos have had a poor season, but compared to that of the Broncos it is an unmitigated success. The Broncos have managed just three wins and are level on points with last seasons new entries, the Vikings.
McDermott can't go a week without injury forcing him to chop and change his side and the injury to Delaney sees Lee Smith back in the fold after being left out in the cold for the last few weeks. Zak Hardaker will continue his increasingly impressive stint at full-back and Ablett will stay in the centres with Kallum Watkins.
The nineteen is named as; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Smith, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Hauraki, Griffin, Moore, Ward, and Lunt. I expect that Smith won' make the seventeen and the other omission will either be Hauraki or Moore. But my track record at second guessing Big Mac isn't the best.
London coach Powell has also lost a couple of players to injury with Temata and ex-Rhino Golden both picking up knocks last weekend. Rodney, Melling, Colbon and Cook are all long term injured to add to the embattled coaches woes.
A couple of week ago the home side would have fancied their chances against a Rhinos side in tatters, but confidence is on the rise at Headingley and the Broncos may well be looking at damage limitation with a nineteen of; Bailey, Bolger, Bryant, Channing, Clubb, Dixon, Dorn, Gower, Howell, Kaufusi, Krasniqi, Lovell, O'Callaghan, Randall, Rinaldi, Robertson, Sarginson, Wheeldon, and Witt. There are still plenty of danger men, and on their day you would expect that this side should be a lot better than their current league plight would suggest.
Three bumpkins to keep an eye on;
The Broncos did the double over the Rhinos last season, despite finishing the year in twelfth, for the first time since Superleague I. A 26-36 outcome at Headingley in February was followed by a 20-32 loss at The Stoop in August. The Rhinos did win the home game in the Challenge Cup, on their way to Wembley, by 40-20.
During the Superleague era the Rhinos are 29-9 ahead in terms of regular round games won against the Superleague side from London (whatever their name), with one game being drawn.
I can't see any outcome other than a Rhinos win, but I've had similar feelings before going to the capital before and ending up coming home eating humble pie. The Rhinos by a clear 24+ for me as the Rhinos turn on the style in the build up to that major revenge semi-final against the Warriors.
There is a high chance of rain throughout the day in London tomorrow and it looks highly likely that those travelling will get wet at some point. Take a brolly.
Unofrtunately I can't make it to the game but hopefully we will have a guest report over the weekend.