Bluey has sprung a major shock with the inclusion of Jamie Peacock in the Leeds nineteen although the chances of him actually making the final seventeen must be slim. It is only a fortnight since he was diagnosed with a five to six week recouperation from an injury suffered early on against the Wolves.
Ali Lauiti'iti is also back and the side ninteen includes Kirke, Leuluai and Jones-Buchanan, all of whom picked up knocks in last weeks win over the Bulls. Luke Burgess isn't fit, and Brent Webb is still missing through suspension. The full nineteen who carry all our hopes are; Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Eastwood, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Pitts, Clarkson, and Smith. I'd suspect that if all are fully fit then Pitts and Clarkson will miss out, but I really can't see Peacock making the game.
Coach Maguire has his own returnees in Prescott and Roberts to bolster a side which already looks fearsome. McGuire has got his side to click but they have proved that they are fallible with losses to the Bulls, and most surprisingly to the basement club the Harlequins. Their ninteen is packed with quality and on paper this game should be a belter.
Maguire's nineteen is; Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Tomkins, O'Loughlin, Prescott, McIlorum, Bailey, Paleaaesina, Pryce, Goulding, Farrell, and Tuson. You have to chuckle at the continued inclusion of Stuart Fielden, McGuire must think including him a good squad may make him good...but it hasn't so far.
Three Warriors to watch;
This is a one-off and analysing past form will tell us very little about what will happen on saturday afternoon and either side could win, and win comfortably, on the day.
That said, in the one meeting between the sides this season the Warriors thrashed us at the DW Stadium by 04-24. On the Warriors last visit to Headingley in March 2009 the Rhinos ran our comfortable 34-10 winners but lost the return fixture in July by 10-28.
Two years ago, almost to the day, the Rhinos knocked Wigan out of the cup with a 23-16 win at the same quarter final, lets hope for a repeat on saturday.
Despite apparently low ticket sales, struggling to get the the 10,000 imposed reduced capacity, this game is eagerly anticipated. A combination of ticket prices, TV coverage, and a low expectation of a Rhinos win will have all contributed to the stay away crowd but I think that those of us who will be there will be treated to a humdinger of a battle between two 100% committed sides.
This is the one that the lads want, and a semi-final place beckons.
After last weekends heatwave it looks like summer is over and we've headed for autumn. The forecast is for some light rain from lunchtime onwards with temperatures in the low teens. Not weather for cricket!
Keep everything crossed for the lads and enjoy the game!