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The Easy Run-in Starts Here!
Posted by southstander on July 19 2007 - 13:26:21

Miracle Worker

After just one win in the last three outings, and after not having scored a try for eighty-three minutes of competitive rugby, the Rhinos welcome Wakefield Wildcats to Headingley for what is for them a 'cup final'.

The Wildcats always raise their performances for visits to HQ, and like Castleford, their fans season often hinges around beating Leeds. John Kear can raise his side for the big occasion and he has frequently motivated sides for the big win.

If you hadn't gathered by now...I'm not really looking forward to this one.

We preview the game here...

Lee Smith, despite a great run-out for the Academy last week, and Carl Ablett miss out from the twenty with Nick Scruton being added to the seventeen that lost so catastrophically at Wigan last week. Ali Lauiti'iti is said to be fit after yet another knock last week, so Scrutes seems likely to be the one to miss out yet again, undoubtedly fuelling rumours of his impending loan to Castleford. With the same seventeen, Kevin Sinfield will probably be asked to play at hooker once again, lets hope that he looks a little more comfortable this week.

Wakefield had Watene and Sculthorpe up before the disciplinary earlier in the week. In a way they both got away with it as Watene was determined as no case to answer and Sculthorpe got a one game ban for a game he would have missed anyway through injury. Kears twenty is made up of; Demetriou, Atkins, Rooney, Jeffries, Obst, Catic, MacGillivray, Ferres, Bibey, Henderson, Elima, Latu, Blaymire, Fox, Golden, Moore, George, White, Gleeson and Greseque. Fox and Golden line up against some old team-mates while Gaz Ellis takes on his former side for Leeds.

Three 'Cats to watch;


Obst

Roonaldo

Foxy

The Rhinos managed a narrow six point victory when these two side met way back in round 6 of this seasons competition. We've also the yuletide friendly win under our belts, if that counts for anything, but Wakefield have had a great season so far, pushing against the door of the top six.

You have to back to March 2005 for the last Wildcats win, by 44-28 at Headingley, with Leeds having clocked up wins, albeit some of them narrow, since then.

Both sides lost last week, and while the Rhinos were being given a wet-weather lesson at the JJB (and failing to score a try for the first time in over seven years), Wakefield lost at home on the sunday to by just one point against the Huddersfield Giants. This is the start of the Rhinos so-called soft run-in and with Saints playing away at Wigan, we do have a chance to be top of the pile come ten o'clock tomorrow night.

Leeds should be too strong for the 'Cats, especially if they play like they did at Knowsley Road. PLay like we did at the JJB and we could be in all sorts of trouble.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 28 14 Wildcats

The forecast is for rain...now there's a surprise. The rain is forecast to start at around mid-day and continue throughout the night. I'm glad that I'm in the South Stand.

The bookies haven't got the odds up as I write this but I'd expect that Wakefield will be given an eioght to twelve point start, At that I think that it could be close.

The lads have a fortnight off after this match, before we travel down to play the Harlequins. They can afford to put all that they've got into this, but so can Wakefield!

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