Richard Moore was unlucky to miss out last week and gets back into the nineteen for the trip over the Pennines. He is joined by Ryan Bailey who is still recovering from knee surgery a fortnight
ago. I suspect that the man who 'does what he wants' won't be able to play, even if he wants to.
The big miss last week was Hardaker which left a Watkins-less wing and an impotent Ablett-Vickery partnership. We won't look right until Zak is back.
The nineteen is named by McDermott as; Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore and
Saints are under the coaching of Nathan 'half season' Brown in 2013, and after a losing the opening round of the season to the Giants, they have been undefeated with two wins (over Widnes and
Bradford) and a draw at Hull FC.
While there has been some close-season turnover of playing staff, the heart of the team is still there from last year and the Saints have a great non-GF record against the Rhinos with four wins in
the last five meetings. They are, however, not the team of superstars that used to strike fear into traveling supporters hearts.
Brown will be hoping for a decent performance from seventeen out of his nineteen of; Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan,
Clough, Wheeler, Jones, Greenwood, Walmsley, Walker, and Percival.
There were two meetings between the sides last year with Saints winning the corresponding game at Langtree Park by 6-46 and taking the honours at Headingley later in the season by 18-31.
The last time that the Rhinos beat them was at Old Trafford in 2011 by the score of 32-16 and the last previous win in St Helens was way back on the 28th March 2008 when a Luke Burgess try secured a 14-10 win with just eight of the current Rhinos squad featuring in that game.
The bookies have given the Rhinos a six point start on the coupon, which just about counts for home advantage. There is very little between the two sides and I hope that this isn't another run-away victory for the red V's. I have a gut feeling that the World Club Challenge loss will still be stinging a bit and it will drive the lads on to a narrow victory and finally get us some points on our travels to Scouseland.
The weather forcast for tomorrow looks as though it is going to be cold, but at least the sun which blinded us last year will have dropped below the horizon by kick-off..
Fingers crossed for a big bounce-back win.
Enjoy the game.