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Rhinos Face Giants in Game of the Weekend
Posted by southstander on June 12 2009 - 15:09:06

He's Back
A home game against the side snapping at our heals is not the kind of game where you'd want to be missing three of your stars on England duty. But sunday will see us taking on the Huddersfield Giants, just points difference behind us, without Peacock, McGuire and Hall.

The good news is that Jamie Jones-Buchanan (fresh from becoming a Dad for the third time) and Rob Burrow, are both named in the Leeds nineteen.

We preview the game here...

It is excellent news that three Rhinos players have been selected by their old coach Tony Smith to represent their country in Paris tomorrow night. It is likely that Rob Burrow would have been with them too had he not been recovering from injury after several weeks lay off. It does leave Bluey with a bit of a problem, especially after Ian Kirke was ruled out with a fractured leg sustained in Perpignan last weekend.

Watkins, Ratu, Jones-Bishop and Worrall are the players called into the squad and so long as Burrow and JJB are passed fit then two of these four will definitely be starting. My money would be on Watkins and Worrall. The full nineteen is; Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Ablett, Burgess, Gibson, Worrall, Watkins, Jones-Bishop, and Ratu.

The Giants fans must be pinching themselves to see if their excellent form and lofty league position is just a dream. Nathan Brown has been nothing short of a miracle worker and has fashioned a side who play open rugby and tackle with ferocity from a side who have struggled in Superleague in recent years. Giants fans that I know are just happy to be riding the crest of the wave and the longer it goes on the less they are fearing a crash.

Brown is also without some of his stars as Crabtree and Moore are on England duty and Danny Kirmond, hero of the Challenge Cup quarter final win is out with a fractured cheekbone. Moore in particular is as big a loss for the Giants as McGuire is for us and he has been mightily impressive in recent games. Browns nineteen is; B. Hodgson, Aspinwall, Brown, Whaturia, D. Hodgson, Fulton, Robinson, Faiumu, D. Griffin, Lolesi, Raleigh, Wild, Finnigan, P. Jackson, Mason, Lawrence, Lunt, Mossop, and Sculthorpe.

Three Giants to watch;




This is the seventeenth meeting between the sides in Superleague (we're ignoring that cup semi-final) and the Rhinos have won sixteen of those seventeen encounters. The average winning Leeds score over all of those encounters is 41 - 13 indicating Leeds dominance but don;t forget that in that there have been some very good Leeds teams against some very poor Huddersfield ones.

The last meeting was at the Galpharm on the 18th April when Leeds won 46-08. Both sides have won two out of their last three games, but Leeds look to get back on the bike after last weeks last minute loss in Perpignan whereas the Giants are looking to make it three game unbeaten. Prediction
Rhinos 36 18 Giants

Tonight we're hoping for losses for Hull KR (against the Quins) and Saints (against the Tigers) for us to pull clear of the Giants and make ground on the top two. Should results not go out way we could end the weekend in fouth, six points off the pace.

The weather for sunday looks great. Nice and warm with only a small chance of rain. Hopefully it will encourage the Leeds Sunday traditionalists as much as the Giants supporters considering an afternoon out.

The bookies are being rumoured to be giving the visitors a ten point start on the coupon, I'm hopeful that we'll cover that and give a little bit more.

See you there, enjoy the game.



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