Leeds got through last weekends appetiser without picking up any additional injuries and there was a strong rumour that Jamie Peacock would
be back in the side for this weekends all important cup clash, but Bluey has named the same nineteen as last week. The lads have made no
secret of the fact that their eyes are on the Challenge Cup prize as it is now over a decade since the famous old trophy has been lifted by
a player in Blue & Amber.
No current Leeds players took part in the record-breaking win over the London Broncos although Kevin Sinfield was heartbroken not to make
the squad, and Jamie-Jones Buchanan was two games away from making his Rhinos debut.
Eight of the current Leeds squad were in the side which lost out by a single drop goal at the Millennium Stadium in 2005 and will see
saturday afternoon as a chance to put the record straight. The nineteen is; Webb, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus,
Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Ambler, Bush, Smith, and Burgess. I'd bet on the same seventeen as last week.
For Hull, Fitzgibbon and Horne are both likely to play after missing out from last weeks nineteen and with Tickle and the Rhinos Nemesis
Sean Long back in the squad it looks like there will be no excuses for FC fans to hide behind this weekend. The Airlie Birds are packed
full of quality and in front of a home crowd and the national TV cameras of the BBC they should shine and prove a real handful for the
The Hull ninteen is; Briscoe, Dowes, Cusack, Fitzgibbon, Hall, Horne, Houghton, Lauaki, Long, Manu, Moa, O'Meley, Radford, Tansey, Tickle,
Turner, Washbrook, Whiting, and Yeaman.
Three returning Airlie Birds to watch;
In their last four games FC have lost to us, the Wolves and the Reds and just scrambled a win over neighbours KR. Leeds managed five points
from the last three games and seem to be turning around a season that was becoming desperate.
The Rhinos won on their last visit to the KC but it was far from convincing at 43-30. If you ignore last seasons JJB Testimonial loss at Headingley
then it is the 7th September 2007 since we last lost, by 6-17 against
The last time that we came up against FC in the cup was that fateful summers day in 2005 when we went to Cardiff as nailed on favourites
and lost out to John Kears well drilled underdogs by 24-25 after a
Danny Brough drop goal in the dying minutes.
I'm backing the Rhinos to win but with some trepidation. The Airlie Birds will be a different prospect to last weekend with four of their
stars returning. Home advantage will also count and throw in the unpredictable variable of Steve 'Saint' Ganson in the middle and anything
could happen. Leeds need to stay awake for the full eighty this week, and possibly longer, to have a chance of progressing.
Hull have been given an eight point start by the bookies, but I can only think that this must have been set before the FC squad was
announced. I relly think that the game will be closer than that.
The forecast for tomorrow is pretty good. Very little
chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-teens. It should be the climatic recipe for a great game of open football.
It is exactly one hundred years since the sides first met in the Challenge Cup, the first ever drawn final in 1910, when the sides scored
seven points each at Fartown in Huddersfield. On that occasion Leeds won the replay but who would bet against a draw at eighty minutes on
saturday afternoon and the dreaded extra-time.
Enjoy the game.