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Can We Nobble Noble?
Posted by southstander on May 30 2008 - 09:09:09

Curse that Noble

When the Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final draw was made, there will have been one name that Leeds supporters were looking to avoid. The only side left in the competition that has beaten us this season, and a side who have beaten us in three of the last four games at Headingley. Wigan Warriors!

Brian Noble, curse of the Rhinos?

We preview the game here...

The whole of Headingley breathed a huge sigh of relief with the fantastic news that Brent 'Superman' Webb has committed the next three years of his career to the Rhinos. After picking up yet another knock, Big Ali is out of saturdays clash and Worrall, Smith and Williams are brought into the nineteen. I'd expect that two of these three will miss out on the final seventeen but it is anyones guess as to which two.

Leeds ninteen is; Webb, Donald, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Ellis, Sinfield, Bailey, Scruton, Ablett, Tansey, Hall, Burgess, Williams,and Worrall. It's a side which we are becoming familiar with but not one that anyone would have expected at the start of the year as it doesn't contain; Toopi, JJB, Kirke, Gibson or Lauiti'iti.

Wigan fans will be excited about the inclusion of their new Aussie Star Cameron Phelps who is immediately drafted into the nineteen named for saturday. Only time will tell if he is selected for teh seventeen from the nineteen man squad of; Mathers, Calderwood, Goulding, Carmont, Richards, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hock, Bailey, Colbon, Coley, Hansen, McIlorum, Prescott, Phelps, and Tomkins. Barrett will again captain the side which he is abandoning at the end of the season due to the continued injury absence of Sean O'Loughlin. The only other absentee for the Warriors is long-term injured Karl Pryce, apart from that Superleague XIII has been kind to the Cherry & Whites.

Three Wigan C's to watch;


Colbon

Carmont

Calderwood

Wigan 'got away with murder' earlier in the year when they came to Headingley and left with a 14-10 thanks to Ganson and his officials missing a Wigan forward pass (for a try) and denying Leeds a perfectly good try (for a forward pass). But as they say, 'read it in the papers'. In the previous game, the Grand Final play-off at Headingley last season, we hammered the visitors by 36-06 and this is the kind of performance that the lads willbe looking for to secure a semi-final berth.

The lads have made no secret of the fact that they are desperate for a place at the showpiece final at Wembley and expect 100% from them in front of the BBC TV cameras for the first time this year.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 28 12 Wigan

Wigan have won their last three, including that massive 106-8 win over Whitehaven in the last round. Their Challenge Cup aggregate score, against Pia and Whitehaven is 180-12. In Superleague our cup opponents are lying in fourth spot, eight points behind the Rhinos.

I'm hoping that we'll find the form that we showed against Wakefield a couple of weeks ago, and not have to grind out a difficult win, like we did against Bradford last weekend.

The bookieshave given the visitors a ten point start on the handicap and I'm hopeful that we'll beat that, although that could be the heart rather than the head talking.

It looks like a pleasant enough day tomorrow, probably not shorts and a T-shirt, but quite pleasant. Possibly some of the currently undecided may be convinced to bolster what is likely to be another poor Challenge Cup turnout.

And don't forget, if we're running away with it, you could always sneak around the North Stand and watch the cricket.

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