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All To Play For
Posted by southstander on September 07 2007 - 08:12:17

Stuffing Anyone?

The Rhinos are just one point away from securing second place in Superleague XII, but need the full two points to keep alive their hopes of finishing in top spot. Hull FC, however, are sitting uncomfortably in fourth spot unable to overtake the Bulls, and in danger of even slipping outside the six.

Two losses for the Airlie Birds (with Leeds and Bradford left to play), coupled with the right results for the Giants (Wildcats & KR), Warriors (KR & Saints) and Wolves (Saints & Reds), could signal a disasterous season for the black and whites.

Hopefully tonight will add to their woes, but nothing is for certain.

We preview the game here...

It is a big relief to see Brent Webb back in the full-back position after he paid a three match price for high tackles against the Harlequins a month ago. That said, I think that Tansey has performed excellently as stand-in, but he just doesn't have the attacking spark of the New Zealander.

Ali Lauiti'iti and Ryan Hall have both failed fitness test and drop out of the twenty with the eighteen for tonight being; Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield, Thackray, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, and Tansey. I suspect that it will be either Ablett or Tansey that miss out on selection, probably the latter as Smith will want to go into the game with as many forwards as possible.

Hull FC are still reeling from their derby day disaster last weekend when the team from the east of the city took them to the cleaners. Peter Sharp will be without ex-Rhino Ewan Dowes who hasn't recovered from an injury suffered last weekend, but he does welcome back another ex-Leeds man Gareth Carvell who missed out on the derby. The eighteen is; Briscoe, Carvell, Godwin, Hall, Head, R Horne, G Horne, King, Lee, Manu, Maiava, Radford, Raynor, Tickle, Washbrook, Wheeldon, Whiting, and Yeaman.

Three Birdies to watch;

Shaun Briscoe

Gaz Raynor

Dickie Horne

When FC visited Headingley earlier in the season the Rhinos commanded the game and took a convincing 18-04 win in horrendous weather conditions. The return match at the KC was a far tighter affair with the home side taking a 16-12 win despite them facing an absolute barrage in the closing stages. The Airlie Birds are not a side to be taken lightly and last weeks humiliation will still be hurting them as they look to put the record straight.

As we said in the introduction, it is all to play for, and Hull will be desperate for a win to get them home advantage in the play-offs. Prediction
Rhinos 32 22 Hull FC

One of the main objectives tonight is to ensure that we come through the game without picking up any injuries and hoping that Webb can keep his tackles down and his motormouth shut! We need everything we've got for the play-offs.

It's looking like being a smashing night for it with temperatures hovering close to twenty around kick-off time. Even as the sun drops during the first half it shouldn't chill much beyond shirt sleeves weather.

The bookies have Hull down with a ten point start and I think that this is pretty much on the money. For better odds, how about Webb to score the first try on his comeback at 12/1, or that slippery Gareth Raynor could well get the visitors off to a good start and he's at 16/1.

Enjoy the game, and hopefully the final hooter will signify a secure second place.

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