Leeds played their 'get out of jail free' card last weekend at the Millennium Stadium to grab the two points in a game in which we were outplayed for long periods. The nature of the comeback victory tells us a lot more than a comfortable romp would have. It tells us that for Superleague XVI we have a team with spirit and fight and that 'never say die' attitude which deserted us in key games last season.
McDermott has made a couple of changes to his nineteen man squad for the trip to the KC with Paul McShane and Weller Hauraki (now that his immigration paperwork is in order). Jay Pitts misses out on the nineteen after not disgracing himself last week against the Bulls.
It will be difficult for Big Mac to settle on his starting seventeen from a very strong looking nineteen of; Webb, Smith, Delaney, Senior, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Cross, Bailey, Kirke, Burgess, Watkins, Hauraki, Jones-Bishop, and McShane. I wouldn't wish to even hazard a guess at who will be the water carriers out of that lot.
FC are one of the clubs who have picked over the Wildcat carcass and they have secured the services of journeyman Sam Obst who will make his debut. Richard Horne is missing for the home side through injury but Lee Radford has shaken off a hamstring injury to be named in the side.
Agar is already feeling the early season pressure after last weeks loss against the reds and will be relying on a ninteen of;Briscoe T, Dowes, Fitzgibbon, Houghton, Lauaki, Long, Lyne, Manu, Moa, Obst, O'Meley, Radford, Sharp, Tickle, Turner, Washbrook, Westerman, Whiting, and Yeaman to get the Airlie Birds first league points of the season.
Three Airlie Birds to watch;
FC took a commanding lead last week but ended up humiliated by KR on the receiving end of a 34-22 scoreline as they faded. Leeds, of course, did the opposite in breaking Bulls hearts.
The last time that Leeds lost to Hull FC in Superleague was back in Superleague XII (2005) when FC won two out of three meeting that season, the one game at the KC finishing 16-12.
In 2010 Leeds won the game at the KC by a narrow 18-14 winning margin after trailing until the 70th minute. Earlier in the season we won the game at Headingley in a high scoring encounter which finished 46-30.
In the Superleague era FC have won eight times, Leeds nineteen and the sides have played out that solitary draw.
This is the last preview/report in which I will mention Peacock and McGuire until they return, but we are without them and they are a big miss. These games at Hull have a tendancy to be close affairs and I expect tomorrow night will be no different. We need to stop the home side getting on a roll and establishing a big lead, but most Rhinos fans will now expect that even if we are twenty behind with a few minutes on the clock we can still snatch it.
The question will be; Can FC play the full eighty? If not the game will be ours.
The forecast is for some rain tomorrow night and it won't be the warmest.
Take care on your journey, and try and avoid the flying stones from the local scallies should we get the points!