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Can Smith Inspire Wayward Wolves
Posted by southstander on March 06 2009 - 16:26:46

New Boss
It should have been a run of the mill outing across the Pennines to see the Rhinos be the latest side to humiliate Jimmy Lowes' Warrington Wolves, but yesterday everything changed.

Now Blueys' Barmy Army will be going to the Halliwell-Jones to see the mighty Rhinos take on Tony Smiths New Barmy Army. Will the ex-Leeds supremo work his magic and bring a first victory of 2009 to the Wolves.

We preview the game here...

Rob Burrow has survived the attempted decapitation last sunday and makes it into the Leeds nineteen. As expected there is still no sign of Brent Webb (tipped for a Mid-May comeback) or Danny Buderus (unknown) which once again gives the likes of Ashley Gibson, Kallum Watkins and Paul McShane a chance to shine. These yougsters are being forced through into regular first teamers and to be honest, they are doing a great job of it.

The lads will have taken some picking up from last sundays crushing defeat and will Bluey will have been trying to get them to put it behind them all week. There are two real possibilities for sunday. Either we'll still be dwelling on the loss and not have our eyes on the ball, or we'll be really looking to prove something with a big win over the side who beat us on our last visit to Cheshire at the end of last season.

Blueys nineteen is; Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Gibson, Watkins, and McShane. Providing Rob us fully fit then Gibson and McShane would be my two to drop out, although Brian may give Watkins a rest.

The Smith/Lowes dream team have a lot to do to win back the supporters and some of the credibility that they have lost over the opening weeks of the season. Lowes has named his side as; Johnson, Gleeson, King, Briers, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, Anderson, Anderson, Higham, Wood, Pickersgill, Cooper, Riley, Mitchell, Hicks, Harrison, and Bridge.

Paul Johnson has shaken off an injury and Jon Clarke will play his first active part in the 2009 season after recovering from a broken arm sustained in last years play-offs against the Catalans Dragons. Many Leeds fans will enjoy seeing old hero Adrian Morley again, although he will be focussed on getting the two points.

Three Wolves to watch;


Basher Moz

Big King

Dummy Spit

The last time we visited Warrington was in August last year when we lost 12-22 when a few injuries cost us dear against a well drilled Wolves side. We had already beaten them at Leeds earlier in the season and beat them home and away in 2007, most notably with a 52-10 win away in April.

Southstander.com Prediction
Wolves 10 36 Rhinos

I've tipped Leeds for a big win, but my tipster colleague are slightly more cautious although still predicting the Rhinos to get the points. I'm just hoping that the new regime has come to late to save this weeks fixture for the home side, they can start their season next week. The Wolves have been stuffed by Saints, Catalans and the Wildcats so far this season by 12, 20 and 26 points respectively. If that trend continues then it will be 30+ for Leeds.

Sundays weather is forecast for showers and wind, not the idea conditions for an open flowing game.

The bookies haven't put our odds up yet but I'd expect that the Wolves would be getting something in the region of a ten to fourteen point start. It shouldn't be enough.

Have a safe journey over to Warrington on sunday and take extra care down from the motorway to the ground as those speed cameras are pretty aggressive. Wouldn't want a fine to upset your sunday afternoons outing.

See you there.

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