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Rhinos Home in on the Hub Cap
Posted by southstander on June 20 2008 - 08:55:06

The bookies are giving the Saints a four point start as second visits first in the quest for the Superleague hub-cap.

Daniel Anderson brings his side, with ten consecutive wins under their belt, to Headingley with a mission to close the gap at the top to two points. Failure, and a Rhinos win, could see the Saints drop to third as an in-form Catalan Dragons side look to stake their claim for a top two finish.

We are in a for a belter.

We preview the game here...

It will be all smiles in the Rhinos camp after yesterdays well timed announcement of contract extensions for McGuire and Burrow, the engine room of the Rhinos side. Last weekends wake-up call against the Harlequins should have served as a timely reminder of our fallability, especially after a couple of miraculous escapes in previous weeks. You have to go back to July 2007 to find the last time that we lost two on the bounce (Wigan and Wakefield) and the lads won't want that to happen.

Bluey has named Lee Smith again in his nineteen but has also put Ryan Hall in the squad. It's a tough call as to who will get the nod. Out of the nineteen of; Webb, Donald, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield, Bailey, Scruton, Ablett, Tansey, Hall, Burgess and Worrall, I would suspect Worrall and one of Hall or Smith to be on water carrier duties.

Anderson has Paul 'biscuit' Sculthorpe back in his squad, although he's looked a bit rusty on recent outings. Leon Pryce and Sean Long are the powerhouse and have always caused us problems, as does the chance to regularly interchange Cunningham and Roby. His nineteen is; Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Cunningham, Gilmour, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Roby, Graham, Hargreaves, Clough, Fa'asavalu, Thompson, Dixon and Magennis.

Three Saints to watch;


Leon

You Bet Sean

Roger Meli

It was honours to the Rhinos in this seasons only meeting between the sides as we ran out as 14-10 winners in a March mudbath at Knowsley Road. That was a win that we really had to grind out, against a tough opposition and tougher conditions and tonight may be little different.

Leeds have won four out of the last five with the Rhinos having won three of the four meetings between the sides last season. In the league the Rhinos won 38-19 at Headingley Carnegie in April before completing the double with a 22-10 win a Knowsley Road in July. The teams then met twice in the play-offs, Saints registering their only win with a 10-08 victory before the Rhinos turned the tables two weeks later at Old Trafford. There is concern in the Saints camp about the lack of depth in the forwards and with Leeds first half tactic likely to be 'hammer them with everything we've got' hopefully the Rhinos backs will be able to nudge us in-front in the second half. We could well be trailing at the break but look for a late spurt.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 26 18 Saints

Last weeks loss should have done wonders for us. A reality check before the chance to open the gap back to six points and more or less secure the hub-cap and top spot for the play-offs. This is also a dress rehearsal for next months Carnegie Challenge Cup Semi-Final, but I'd venture that we'll learn little tonight about the likely outcome on the 26th July.

The bookies have given Saints a 4 point start on the coupon, which might not be enough tonight.

The weather looks fine for tonight with little chance of rain and some decent temperatures. Perferct conditions for a great game.

The Rhinos Reserve Grade are in action when they face the same opposition with a 5.15pm kick off in the curtain raiser.

Don't forget to get your predictions in here.

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