The Broncos are having a roller-coaster of a season. Big wins at home have been mirrored by a failure to pick up a single Superleague point on the road. Last weeks big win at Hunslet in the Challenge Cup is a poor indicator of current form. Their last Superleague game saw them as the first Leigh scalp of the season.
The Broncos continue to ride roughshod over the overseas quota rules, with Rea having gathered together a mottley crew of ex-Aussie and New Zealand stars. As their results so far this season have shown, they have the capability to gel into a side good enough to overpower the best that Superleague has to offer. But on a bad day, they will offer little threat to the Rhinos.
Tony Smith will welcome back Ali Lauiti'iti and hope that the Rhinos can re-discover the form that they showed prior to his departure to New Zealand on compassionate grounds. Gareth Ellis has been under the surgeons knife this week and missed out on the Rhinos first saturday evening game of the season, as will Chris McKenna (both will be missed). I'd expect a fair few changes elsewhere in personnel, but expect Rob Burrows sensational form to keep him at number seven.
Barrie McDermott, so obviously missed in the Warrington game, will be back in the seventeen, and I'd expect that Wayne McDonald may get another chance to show his worth.
Three Broncos to watch;
Leeds beat the Broncos 18-06 in the World Club Challenge Warm Up game, but it was far from a convincing win. The Rhinos avoid the trip to Brentford this year as the return fixture in July takes place in Perpignan.
The weather forecast is for a dry but cold day, and the saturday night may mean that more that the usual 'taxi full' make the journey 'oop north'. It would be nice to see a crowd above the 15,000 mark, and hopefully we can achieve that.
The bookies have given the Broncos an eighteen point start, but I think that this is extremely generous. I'd expect the Broncos to get inside their handicap. Marcus Bai is 8/1 to be the first try scorer, and how about Calders at 10/1 or Barrie at 33/1?
Hopefully it will be a cracker for the SKY cameras, the atmosphere will be great, and the Rhinos will emerge with the two points to stay on top of Superleague for another week.