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Rhinos First Visit to Leigh for Years
Posted by southstander on May 12 2005 - 17:42:40

Leigh Saviour?

Friday night sees the Rhinos make their first visit to Hilton Park (The Coliseum) in over eleven years. This will be a totally new experience for the lads as barring a surprise recall to the squad of Francis Cummins, no serving Rhinos player will have worn Leeds colours in Leigh.

Leeds youngest player, Lee Smith, was just seven years old the last time the sides met and whilst many Rhinos supporters would have then followed the Loiners into darkest deepest Lancashire, there will also be a great many who have never made the trip.

Just like last week, I'm sure that Tony Smith will treat the opposition with respect, having said that, he will be expecting nothing less than a big win in the first of a double-header against the second bottom side.

I'd expect a similar side to that which nilled SM Pia last week, with Smith resting his key players should we establish a comfortable lead.

Two ex-Headingley heroes will line up against us as the home side look to extend their unbeaten home run to four games. Darren Fleary is now Leigh skipper, after spending the last few seasons at Huddersfield, and Robbie Mears (past SouthStander.com Player of the Season) has been tempted back out of retirement to assist Leight in their attempts to avoid relegation.

After twelve games in Superleague X, Leigh have baffled pundits by lifting themselves of the foot of the table. They are still in the second relegation spot, three points adrift of tenth place London Broncos, but there is every change that their continued good form could yet get them out of trouble.

In their last four home games, Leigh have beaten Wakefield, London and Halifax (cup) and managed an amazing draw with Rhinos championship rivals Hull FC. They are a no-nonesense side who will get in our faces and make life very uncomfortable, it will a tough game for Superleagues worst referee Ashley 'Calamity' Klein to officiate.

Three Leythers to watch;


Rowley

Fleary

Leafa

As we stated in the pre-amble, there is no recent form between the sides to discuss. Leigh have not beaten Leeds since an 18-6 win at Hilton Park in February 1988. The Rhinos biggest away win was in that last game away in 1994 when we won by 52-20, a record far more likely to tumble than Leighs best home win over the Rhinos (51-2 in 1983).

Southstander.com Prediction
Centurions 8 48 Rhinos

I'm tipping a big win to the Rhinos and I just can't see anything other than a comprehensive Rhinos victory. Leigh are dangerous, but the Rhinos should keep that danger to bursts, rather than allowing any sustained attack.

Some showers are being forecast for later on, but all those with tickets (it is all ticket) should keep dry on the terraces for the duration of the match.

Don't forget to take a look at Oldladys ground guide, and see you all there.

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