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Leeds on a Crusade
Posted by southstander on June 18 2010 - 15:07:20

Hit and Miss
Leeds come up against the side that they beat on the opening weekend of the season at a snow covered Racecourse Ground. The weather promises to be much better on Sunday as Headingley plays host to the return fixture.

After a three game losing streak, where they conceeded an average of fifty points a game, the Crusaders got back to winning ways last weekend against the Bulls as they crushed McNamaras side 44-20. Can they make it two on the bounce against a West Yorkshire side or will the Rhinos progress their seven game winning run?

We preview the game here...

After the kids did us proud last weekend at the Harlequins they will be asked to make way for the returning internationals as Sinfield, Peacock and Hall will all be in the team. Lee Smith proved himself to be a more than adequate goal kicker last week but will step down from these duties as the skipper is back in charge.

JJB. Danny Mcguire and Ryan Bailey are all back in contention but one striking absentee for the Rhinos is Matt Diskin who picked up an abductor muscle injury in last weeks game at the Stoop so expect Paul McShane (Sponsored by SouthStander.com) to retain his place in support of Danny Buderus, unless Bluey decides that the Australian can play a full 80 minutes.

Blueys nineteen is; Webb, Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Sinfield, Eastwood, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Ambler, McShane, Clarkson, and Smith. Which two will miss out is anyones guess.

Brian Noble knows how to play Leeds hand until recent times he's had the 'Indian sign' over the Rhinos. Noble is without half-back Michael Witt who picked up an injury a fortnight ago which looks to have ended his season. Ex-Rhino Peter Lupton is in the Crusaders side but there is no room for Gareth Thomas who has a groin injury and Jamie Thackray who has some kind of unspecified 'gland' problem.

Noble has brought in Welsh internationals Kear, Dudson and White who are all a bit wet behind the ears. His ninteen is; Youngquest, Martin, Mellars, O'Hara, Withers, Bryant, Hauraki, Chan, Dyer, Winternstein, Peek, James, Flower, White, Kear, Lupton, Schifcofske, Hanbury, and Dudson.

Three Crusaders to watch;


Peek

Youngquest

Hauraki

This is the Crusaders second season in Superleague and whilst they racked up a couple of outstanding wins last season, the Rhinos had their number. We won last years games with an aggregate of 96-06 with a competitive 28-06 in early season and a massive 68-00 in the away fixture in August at Bridgend.

This season we won the opener by 34-06 although the scoreline masks a hard fought game in tough conditions. The Crusaders have shown a marked improvement since that game and sunday should be a tougher proposition, although their injuries may cost them dear.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 32 10 Crusaders

This should be a Leeds win, and a comfortable one, but expect that the Crusaders will give us a game and it won't be a walkover. Noble always has something up his sleeve for games against the Rhinos but hopefully his magic won't be enough to halt our winning run.

The forecast for sunday is a belter, wall to wall sunshine and no chance of rain.

The bookies are giving the Crusaders an 18 point start and I expect that Leeds will just cover that.

The Predictions Prize Money thread is here. If our tipsters are collectively right then their bets will yield 76.47 from our 1.00 bet.

Enjoy the game.

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