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Not Great Expectations
Posted by southstander on September 10 2010 - 13:06:29

Minor Premier
It feels as though it has already been a long hard season as we enter the play-offs.

All that is up for grabs on Sunday, as we travel to the DW, is whether we get the following weekend off or whether we have to prepare for a home game against (most likely) the Huddersfield Giants.

On our recent form I half expect that we may have already thrown in the towel for this one.

Read more here...

The first thing to say about sundays play-off is that the RFL, in their wisdom. have appointed Thierry Alibert as the referee. This introduces an unexpected degree of randomness to the proceedings which could help us or hinder us. You never know with 'the halibut', he's not biased, and I am sure he has no axe to grind with Leeds, but he is just such an inconsistent official that you never know what is going to happen. It could be worse he could be the video referee!

The Rhinos as still without the injured JJB and Clarkson (another indications that we are saving ourselves for future battles?). These two join Peacock and Burgess meaning once again that we are left looking pretty weak in the pack. Expect Keith Senior to continue his new role in the second row where he did a decent enough job at the KC.

Blueys ninteen is; Webb, Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Eastwood, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Pitts, Ambler, and Smith.

Coach Maguire makes just one change to the side which put the final nail in the Bulls sorry 2010 campaign last weekend with Hansen back in the nineteen after recovering from injury.

Sam Tomkins is likely to have one eye on Ablett after his attempted decapitation last time the sides met and 'comedy' Stuart Fielden will be looking for a better performance than he has managed on recent outings against the Rhinos.

It is a fearsome looking nineteen of; Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, S.Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Hansen, J.Tomkins, O'Loughlin, Prescott, McIlorum, Paleaaesina, Deacon, Goulding, Farrell, Marsh, and Tuson.

Three Warriors to watch;


Carmont

Fielden

Paleaaesina

We've played the Warriors on three occasions already in 2010 with Wigan winning both league encounters and the Rhinos taking the Challenge Cup match-up by just two points.

In the one meeting between the sides at the DW Stadium the Warriors thrashed us by 04-24. The other seasons meeting at Headingley just over a month ago ended in another easy win for the visitors, this time by 26-12. You have to go all the way back to the 22nd August 2008 for the last Rhinos away win in Wigan, and what a win it was as we smashed the opposition by 52-16.

Southstander.com Prediction
Warriors 22 06 Rhinos

I just can't see us doing it at the first time of asking, and if we did, it would most likely set up another visit to the DW in a fortnights time for the semi-final (eliminator). I suspect that many others will have the same thoughts and that it could be far from a sell-out. Ticket prices were reduced to just 13 earlier in the week which must give some indication of the concerns about bums on seats.

The forecast looks reasonable with some morning fog clearing to afternoon sunshine. Take care on the drive across.

At the end of the day this game counts and matters for little except filling the SKY TV schedules. Don't get me wrong it would be fantastic to win, but if we are going to beat Wigan once more this season I'd rather we did it in the final elimination game, or even the Grand Final. I'll not be too disappointed if we lose this Sunday.

Take care and enjoy the game!

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