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Potter Needs to Weave his Magic
Posted by southstander on March 20 2009 - 09:54:52

New Boss
After coming through last weeks hit up against what was supposed to be a resurgent Wigan Warriors with all flags flying, this week we go to Knowsley Road to take on Mick Potters Saints.

Saints are lying third in the table, thanks to the home loss against Hull KR, just two points behind the Rhinos. A win by eighteen points, coupled with a Hull FC home loss to the Tigers would see the Scousers on top of the pile.

The Rhinos will be desperate for an early season win to show their continued dominance over their closest trophy rivals. It should be a belter.

We preview the game here...

Mercifully Brent Webb came through last week unscated and should make this weeks starting line-up, pushing Lee Smith into the centres alongside the returning Keith Senior. Matt Diskin also returns to the nineteen man squad although Ali Lauiti'iti is missing from a nineteen named earlier in the week by Bluey as; Webb,Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Gibson, Allan, and Watkins.

Mick Potter hasn't had the smoothest of starts to his Saints reign as head coach although his charges have only lost once, by a single point, to Hull KR in round 3. Two games ago they just managed to scrape a win in dreadful conditions in Bridgend and last week then got a 26 point win over Superleague whipping boys Salford City Reds.

Even the most one-eyed Saints fan would confess that they aren't yet firing on all cylinders but after Leeds clicked into action last week against Wigan, this week it could be the 'Mighty S' turn to rip their opposition to shreds.

Potter will select his seventeen from; Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Pryce, Long, Cayless, Cunningham, Graham, Gilmour, Wilkin, Flannery, Roby, Hargreaves, Clough, Wheeler, Fa’asavalu, Ashurst, Armstrong, and Emmitt. Plenty of class to trouble the Rhinos there and on the day when they finally find the extra gear they will give someone a good hiding.

Three Saints to watch;


Hair Bear

Welly

Leon

We played against the Saints five time last season. Honours were shared in the league with the Rhinos winning at Knowsley Road and Saints picking up the two points at Headingley. Saints also took the spoils at the Galpharm in the 26-16 win over us in the Challenge Cup Semi-final.

The other two meetings were in the end of season play-offs when Saints comprehensively beat us at Knowsley Road before we went on to win in the most important game of the season, the Grand Final after a humdinger of a game at Old Trafford.

Southstander.com Prediction
Saints 14 28 Rhinos

I have a good feeling about this one, bouyed by last weeks excellent performance against the Warriors. Saints aren't quite there yet, and while the Rhinos dominance over them this season is a long way from reality, I think that on this occasion we should have a little too much for them.

The forecast for today is pretty good although the temperature could drop close to freezing later. There is very littel chance of rain and conditions tonight should be perfect for a great game of open rugby.

The bookies have made the Saints favourites for tonights game and given Leeds a two point start on the coupon. I was a little surprised by this, but I'd be lumping on Leeds with that.

It is apparently a reduced (advance) price for tonight and the Saints administration will no doubt be looking for close to a full house.

See you there, enjoy the game.

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