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Rhinos to Slay Dragons?
Posted by Number 2 on March 27 2009 - 00:54:32

New Boss
After the reverse at the GPW Recruitment Stadium last week the Rhinos look to get back on the horse as they entertain the Catalans Dragons at Headingley Carnegie.

After being the surprise package of last season the visitors haven't had the best start so far, only the one victory at Warrington in Round 2 and yet to win a game at the Stade Gilbert Brutus. The Dragons have also never won at Headingley Carnegie in three attempts so the omens are good for the Rhinos.

We preview the game here....

Lee Smith and Ryan Bailey are the big absentees from the line up at Saints last week. Smith is currently in hospital after picking up an insect bite that has become infected and Bailey picked up a groin injury in training this week. Ali Lauitiiti replaces Bailey in the 19 named by Brian McClennan on Wednesday, Smith on the other hand has not been replaced so Leeds will pick from Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Sinfield, Diskin, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Gibson, Watkins, Allan. Ian Kirke also makes a welcome return from injury after picking a knock up in the victory over Wigan Warriors.

It's not been plain sailing for Steve Walters since taking over in the South of France. Only the one previously mentioned victory at Warrington to show for their efforts so far but more surprising were home defeats to Huddersfield and Castleford before throwing away what could have been a point last week against the Bradford Bulls.

New signings this year include Shane Perry who has taken over the halfback role and Jason Ryles has been brought into strengthen the pack but his season has so far been curtailed by the injury he picked up at Warrington back in round two. Of course the big name arrival is Greg Bird, not allowed to sign for Bradford, but different visa regulations have allowed him to come into the squad for Sebastian Raguin who suffered a season ending injury in pre-season. Coach Walters will pick from the following Baile, Bell, Bentley, Bird, Bosc, Carlaw, Casty, Croker, Duport, Elima, Ferriol, Gossard, Greenshields, Guisset, McGuire, Mounis, Pelo, Perry, Ryles.

Three Dragons to watch;


Bosc

Bell

Bird

The Rhinos completed a league double over the Dragons last season, a 34-6 at Headingley Carnegie the week before the World Club Challenge before the Rhinos had a fantastic 37-24 victory in the South of France in sweltering conditions in July.

The other two meetings between the clubs at Headingley have seen the Rhinos win 54-8 in 2007 and 60-12 in the last regular season game in 2006.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 42 12 Dragons

I honestly can't see the Dragons breaking their duck at Headingley tonight, they meet the Rhinos wanting to prove a point on the back of the defeat at St Helens last week

The forecast is for a chilly evening with the temperatures around the 5 degree mark but with a chilly wind the temperature will struggle to break freezing point.

See you there, enjoy the game.

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