The Rhinos injury jinx continues as the Saints game cost us Greg Eastwood (probably for the rest of the season) and Danny Buderus (likely until the Challenge Cup semi-final). Without both Diskin and Buderus, and with the welcome return of Rob Burrow, I suspect that Sinfield will start at hooker and spell with Clarkson at thirteen. McShane (sponsored by SouthStander.com) will be asked to play a bigger role than in the last couple of games, and expect him to have much more game time.
Ali Lauiti'iti is also back in the nineteen after a long lay-off (just one game in the last three months) and Luke Burgess is also in the reckoning after six weeks absence. Despite these returns it is clear that we've had one of the unluckiest seasons for injuries for a long time and of we do make it to either of this seasons presitgious finals then we'll have done it the hard way.
Blueys ninteen is; Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Sinfield, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Pitts, Ambler, McShane, Clarkson, and Smith. Expect two of Burgess, Pitts and Ambler to miss out, providing the returning three really are fit enough to take part.
Justin Morgan is also suffering his fair share of injuries with Webster, Welham and ex-Rhino Ratu all ruled out of tonights game. Josh Charnley is in the squad with a chance of a debut, and there is some good news for the home supporters as Briscoe and Netherton both return to the side.
KR are unbeaten in three and name their nineteen as; Cockayne, Latus, Briscoe, Netherton, Clinton, Dobson, Vella, Hodgson, Wheeldon, Newton, Galea, Fox, Taylor, Watts, Cook, Fisher, Murrell, Lovegrove, and Charnley.
Three Robins to watch;
Both teams were having a poor start to the season when they met at Headingley in round seven. On that night a young Rhinos side just didn't have enough as we crashed 10-17 to the visitors.
Leeds won all three games against KR last season including the first play-off by a massive 44-08. Prior to the win earlier this season the Robins had just one Superleague win against us, the 22-20 shock win at Craven Park back in March 2007.
This is two points that we must get, but another potential banana skin like the Crusaders one that we slipped on a few weeks ago. A team two places and four points below us in the table, this should be our game and chance for revenge for the loss at Headingley earlier in the season.
Todays forecast is from a glorious afternoon with temperatures in excess of 20 degrees throughout the game. There is a very slight chance of rain, not the usual deluge which accompanies our trip to Craven Park.
The Predicitions Prize Money thread for sponsors 'bet' is now on and would net the prize fund over £94. The bookies have given KR a ten point start on the handicaps which to me sounds pretty good. I think it will be a close one and would be taking KR with that handicap.
See you there and enjoy the game.