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Countdown Confidence
Posted by southstander on August 21 2008 - 15:28:55

Praying for Victory

Seven short weeks ago we travelled to the JJB, still on with a shot at Superleague minor premiers, but in the middle of a dodgy patch.

A last minute Burrow penalty miss, after a tremendous fightback, saw us lose out by a single point to Brian Nobles Wigan Warriors.

Can we avenge that heartbreak as we head for the play-offs?

We preview the game here...

Kallum Watkins has made the Rhnos seventeen after coming back from the junior tour down under. He replaces Ben Jones-Bishop who was named last week but didn't make the final seventeen. There are still a number of players missing from the Leeds side, and running out of time to be match fit enough to figure in the play-offs including; JJB, Donald, Bailey, Hall, and Toopi. The good news is that Ash Gibson came through last week with flying colurs and should get a start today.

Blueys nineteen is; Webb, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Ellis, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Scruton, Kirke, Ablett, Gibson, Tansey, Burgess, Worrall,and Watkins.

Brian Noble originally named the same seventeen who squeezed a win against Wakefield last friday, and will have breathed a sigh of relief that ex-Rhino full-back Richie Mathers escaped with 'sending off sufficient' from tuesdays disciplinary. But today Richards and Bailey have both withdrawn from the squad to be replaced by Prescott and Mossop. Wigans results have been all over the place since in the last few weeks with two wins, two losses and a draw in their last five.

In the absence of Richards, Phelps will take over the goal kicking in a nineteen man squad that is now; Prescott, Mossop, Mathers, Calderwood, Goulding, Carmont, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Colbon, Coley, Hansen, McIlorum, Phelps, Tomkins, O'Carroll, and Smith.

Three Wiganers to watch;


Tommy

'Slugger'

Calders

Wigan took the Superleague spoils, thanks to an inconsistent refereeing performance, earlier in the season when they beat us 14-10 in a tense affair at Headingley. We fought back for another close 23-16 win in the Challenge Cup at the end of May. And then, of course, there was the single point heartbreak at the JJB in July.

We've now lost on our last two visits to the JJB and lost a total of four in the last five against Nobles men. Wigan are our new Bradford!

Southstander.com Prediction
Warriors 14 24 Rhinos

For the second visit running I'm not 100% comfortable predicting a Rhinos win, and it is a game that we have as much chance of losing as winning. I'm hoping that the loss of Richards and Bailey will have a negative effect and that as a result we can snatch the points.

The bookies are giving the home side a six point start and I think that we may just eclipse that. I'd wager that some clever money will be taking Wigan with that margin..

It looks like early morning rain tomorrow, which will clear well before the game is scheduled to start.

Don't forget to get your predictions in here.

Get to Wigan, get behind the lads, and lets keep the pressure on the Saints - for another week at least. Drive safe.

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