The Rhinos latest injury loss is Zak Hardaker, fresh from an impressive try scoring debut last saturday, who broke his thumb in a domestic
accident - the mind boggles. Ali Lauiti'iti is missing from the nineteen and Rob Burrow was also a doubt for the nineteen with a calf problem but he is named.
Some good news is that Leuluai and the now 'lighter walleted' Bailey are all on the verge of a return to first team action
after recovering from their respective injuries but Smith and Delaney are not recovered sufficiently to be named. The longer term list of absentees now stands at just; McGuire, Peacock, Jones-Bishop, and the aforementioned Hardaker.
The Rhinos ninteen is; Webb, Senior, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Cross, Bailey, Kirke, Burgess, Watkins, Hauraki, Clarkson, Pitts, McShane, and Singleton.
Kear is without Paul King who underwent a foot operation earlier this week but does have Rhinos Kyle Amor in his line-up to take on his
team mates. Dale Morton is also absent for Kears side which is heavily dependant upon youngsters and loan players, but with a sprinkling of
experience. The nineteen is; Murphy, George, Jeffries, Korkidas, Rinaldi, Henderson, Morrison, Lee, Johnson, Dean, Gledhill, Mariano,
Howarth, Veivers, Wildie, Griffin, Johnson. G, Amor, and the curiously named Annekin ('the force is strong in that one').
Three Wildcats to keep an eye on;
Everything about this match is screaming 'big Rhinos win' but with John Kear at the Wakey helm you just never know. His sides can be
absolutely brilliant or totally awful and you never know which will be the case from week to week. The sides have met, both with very
different formations from those that will take the field on Sunday, when the Rhinos ran out as 40-22 winners in last years Boxing Day
Wakefield won the corresponding fixture on their own ground last season by 28-18 which was the Rhinos second loss out of the seasons opening three
fixtures in a start to the season which would see us losing five out of our first eight league fixtures. Leeds won the return by 28-22.
Leeds have won on twenty-five out of twenty-nine occasions during the Superleague era, the best of these being back in 2005 when we ran out
as 70-06 winners, thanks to a five try haul for Ali Lauiti'iti. What
Big Mac would give for a similar result on sunday afternoon to restore the faith.
I can't see anything other than a big Rhinos bounce-back win. Hopefully we'll give the football a bit more respect, and that Jimmy Lowes
may have done a bit more work on the defence than he did before last weekend. Even the bookies are giving the Wildcats a sixteen point
start on the coupon.
There are advance warning of disruptive road works in Wakefield this weekend and
the advice is to avoid Wakefield town centre as is could be bedlam.
There is little chance of rain on sunday, good job as most of us would
be exposed to it, but it could get pretty chilly.
Take care and see you there.