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Strong Side for JJBs Testimonial
Posted by southstander on January 26 2009 - 08:08:38

Deserved

After what now sees like an eternity since the World Cup Final, we are just twelve days away from the start of Superleague XIV and the visit of the Celtic Crusaders to kick off the defending double Champions campaign.

Tonight sees the Headingley faithful pay tribute to one of their most dedicated players as we host Hull FC in the Jamie Jones-Buchanan Testimonial match. This is the Rhinos last competitive home runout before the start of the season with just the Lazenby Cup at Hunslet next sunday remaining in the pre-season calender.

That game is likely to be played by a youthful side while the senior players take a last weekends rest in advance of the long road ahead.

We preview the game here...

You might have expected a mix of youth and experience for tonights match but with the exception of the injured 'super trinity' of Burrow, McGuire and Sinfield, Bluey seems have named a pretty strong side. Jamie Peacock will captain the side in Sinfields' absence as the players look to get behind one of the real Headingley characters and give him a night to remember.

Leeds new Australian signings Eastwood and Buderus will both be absent but eleven of the side which lifted the back-to-back Superleague Trophy will be in the line up which is as follows; Smith, Donald, Watkins, Senior, Hall, Allan, Brown, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones Buchanan, Lauiti-iti, Ablett, McShane, Burgess, Kirke, Gibson, and Ambler. We'll undoubtedly miss the flair and play making of Sinfield, Burrow and McGuire, but it will be good to get another look at Allan and Brown against decent quality opposition.

Richard Agar has included ex-Rhinos wing-man Mark Calderwood in his eighteen man squad for tonights game. The coach also gives a debut to new signing Chris Thorman. Calderwood has had several unhappy games against his former side while at Wigan and it will be interesting to see if a change of shirt gives him a change of luck. A strong looking FC eighteen is; Byrne, Hall, Yeaman, G. Horne, Calderwood, Briscoe, R. Horne, Thorman, Dowes, Cusack, Thackray, Houghton, Manu, Burnett, Tickle, Radford, Hodgson, and Lee. Agar is looking for a confidence boosting win against the Champions after a very disappointing 2008.

Three ex-Rhinos who'll decide our fate;


Calders

Thackray

Dowes

Leeds met FC twice last season winning the game at the KC by a comfortable 30-04 in March and then cruising to a 38-22 home win in Round 16 in June. The previous encounter at Headingley in September 2007 was a different story though with the Hull side winning 17-6 as Leeds decided not to play.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 22 16 FC

I think that this will still be Leeds game and that we have enough strength in the forwards to give FC a decent workout. I am concerned that we are likely to be missing all three main play makers (unless fitness tests prove otherwise) and this will mean that it could be a close game. Rest assured that Hull FC will be feeling no sympathy towards JJB for his Testimonial and they will definitely be at Headingley to win the game. We just have to hope that our boys can raise their games for Jamie.

It is just a tenner to get in on the gate with a fiver for concessions so hopefully we'll see you there to cheer on the lads before the main even in a fortnights time.

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