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First of the Wildcats Double Bill
Posted by southstander on April 04 2014 - 17:04:46

We take a weeks break from Superleague as the Tetley's Challenge Cup embraces the big clubs for the first time in 2014.

With a rash of all Superleague match-ups, the Rhinos were unfortunate enough to be drawn away at Wakefield, the location of our 38-18 4th round win two years ago, in 2012.

The home side currently lie twelfth in the league against the Rhinos in third spot, but this is the cup and anything can happen, especially with a load of Rhinos old boys plotting our downfall.

What should secure a comfortable win, but this has all the hallmarks of a potential nail-biter.

We preview the game, read more here...

If selected from the nineteen, Ryan Hall will make his 200th Rhinos appearance since his 2007 debut. The early-week news about the loss of JJB for up to three months will be a blow to McDermott but he has plenty of young talent to call on, including Liam Sutcliffe who returns from a loan spell at Bradford Bulls.

Paul Aiton, who missed last weeks game at Saints through illness has been unable to train all week and as a result is not named against his former side. But, Joel Moon, Mitch Achurch and Ryan Bailey (after serving whatever punishment for whatever misdemeanour) are all back in the reckoning for the trip down the road.

Big Mac names his nineteen as; Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Briscoe,Sutcliffe, and Singleton. Ben Jones-Bishop, who hasn't put a foot wrong since his recall, is the one missing from the nineteen as McDermott looks to opt for forwards in what could well be a physical game.

The Wakefield side is increasingly looking like a rollcall of ex-Rhinos players as they continue to strengthen and retain their Superleague place for 2015. No fewer than six of the named nineteen have played first team football at Headingley and most of those will feel that they never got the recognition that they deserved.

One player sure to be out to impress is Richard Moore who would make his first start for Wakefield since signing over the winter, should he be selected.

Richard Agar has named a nineteen of; Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Ryan, Moore, Tautai, Sammut, Smith, Siejka and Scruton. They are certainly not a side to be underestimated and the Rhinos coaching staff will have been treating them with the utmost respect as we look to overcome the first hurdle on our way to securing a trophy which has eluded us for fifteen long years.

This will only be the third meeting between the sides in the Challenge Cup since the start of the summer era. Back in 2002 the sides met at Headingley when the Rhinos won by 46-10 with the other meeting being the 38-18 win for Leeds at Headingley in the same round two years ago.

The Rhinos won both league matches against the Wildcats last season but as recently as 2012 we lost the away game by 18-38 when we were totally outplayed. The backbone of the Wildcats side from that match is still the mainstay of their seventeen. Prediction
Wildcats 12 36 Rhinos

The bookies fancy the Rhinos to progress into Sundays draw and have given the Wildcats a sixteen point start on the coupon. If you fancy our opponents then you can get 5/1 on them winning the tie while the Rhinos are 1/8. Wakefield are 6/4 to open the scoring with Leeds 1/2. Not much money to be made on the Rhinos this weekend.

The forecast for Sunday afternoon is for light rain, which could be miserable unless you can get yourself under that stand.

Travel safe and enjoy the match...

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