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Just a Question of How Many?
Posted by southstander on May 20 2005 - 08:20:52

Talisman Returns

Many people scratched their heads, not least the Leigh supporters, when the fixture computer (ha) threw out back-to-back games between the Champions and newly promoted Leigh. Even the most optimistic supporters at Leigh must have realised that it would be a bleak and barren couple of rounds.

In last weeks encounter at the Coliseum, the Rhinos eased off the hapless Centurions but still completed an eleven try 60-4 win.

This week we're at Headingley, and with the Rhinos at a massive odds-on of 1/1000 to win the game, the only variable is how many we humiliate them by.

The Rhinos will make several changes from last weeks side. Danny McGuire makes a welcome return, although some re-jigging is necessary to shoehorn him back into the side. Marcus Bai has also returned from compassionate leave and is straight back in the starting line-up. Our exclusive news yesterday that Scott Murrell would make his full first team debut has been confirmed by Tony Smith.

Making way for these three are Burrow (leg), Smith (calf), and Bailey (rested), none of which are major niggles but it makes sense not to risk them tonight and save them for the Saints game next friday (which is an all ticket game).

Abrams must have a real dilemma on his hands. Should he rest his key players, accepting that they are going to take a real beating, or should he put out his best seventeen and give it a go. It looks like he has honoured the spirit of the game by opting for the latter. Turley and Maden, who both missed last weeks game, make it back from injury for the trip to Headingley.

The last time that Leigh beat Leeds at Headingley was a narrow 19-18 win in April 1982, before half of the current Leeds squad wasn't even born. In twenty-five games played between the sides at Headingley, Leigh have been victors on just seven occasions. Leeds biggest Headingley win was by 49-6 in 1979, a record which must be in jeopardy tonight.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 74 00 Leigh

For the first time ever, I'm tipping us to nil the opposition. I think that Tony Smiths only complaint last week was that we let in a soft try, and he'll have redoubled the defensive efforts and set the lads the target of keeping a clean sheet. I'd like to think we'll reach the point-a-minute level, but feel that we'll fall just short. Nevertheless it will be a big win for the Champions.

We could well have a bit of light rain to contend with, according to the forcast, although it is likely to have more effect on the supporters than the players. Don't forget that the South Stand is all ticket for the rest of the season, so if you're on the Eastern or Western Terraces take a brolly.

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