The latest Rhinos player to be spending time in the naughty corner is TMFMISL Ryan Bailey after the disciplinary decided to ground him for one day for a bit of fisticuffs with Giant Kevin Brown. Carl Ablett is back in contention after his one game enforced rest last weekend and I'd guess that he was delighted not to have been involved in his mates history breaking loss.
Darth has suggested in the press this week that he is as bemused as the rest of us about our performances but that he believes that it is the players that need to pull us out of the mire and that he is confident in his coaching team. I'm increasingly thinking that we've grown fat on our success and despite more than enough wake-up calls in a very disappointing season we show little sign of turning the corner any time soon.
The increasingly isolated and embattled McDermott and Lowes partnership named a ninteen on tuesday which included Bailey ahead of his hearing at the disciplinary and as I've not heard of a replacement (but expect Pitts) then the Leeds eighteen is; Webb, Smith, Delaney, Senior, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Cross, Kirke, Burgess, Watkins, Hauraki, Clarkson, and McShane.
A Bulls win would see them move above us in the table and be sweet revenge after the sensational Rhinos come-back win at the Millennium Stadium on Superleague XVI's opening weekend. How long ago that now seems!
The Bulls only wins in the last six have been narrow ones over the Harlequins and the Tigers and they will be desperate to forget what happened last time out when they handed the Salford Reds their biggest ever Superleague win as one of the league whipping boys put fifty-six points on them.
Mick Potter hasn't been the saviour that the Oldslum faithful (that's those without a free ticket for tonights match) hoped when they welcomed him at the end of last season. It goes to prove that a good coach can't always work miracles with a poor squad, the opposite of the situation at Leeds where a poor coach can do nothing with decent players.
Matt Diskin gets another pop at his old team mates and will be hoping for a netter outcome than last time. Luke Burgess gets to play against the latest young Burgess to emerge from the production line, Tom. Potters ninteen is; Ainscough, Ah Van, Bateman, Burgess, Diskin, Donaldson, Elima, Hargreaves, Herbert, Kearney, Kopczak, L'Estrange, Lynch, Olbison, Platt, Raynor, Walker, Royston, and Whitehead.
Three Bulls to keep an eye on;
The Rhinos managed a sensation fightback win against the Bulls on the opening weekend of the season in Cardiff at a time when the season showed so much promise.
Two days under a year ago we won in Bradford by 26-12 thanks to a Danny McGuire hat-trick, oh how we miss him. Bradford had more luck earlier in the season when the managed a 20-20 draw at Headingley.
The last time that we lost to the Bulls was over two years ago in April 2009 when they secured a 06-10 win in a game in which Leeds were in total control.
It is with a very heavy heart that I again tip a Rhinos loss. Whatever we've done during this week can't have got us over the shock of last friday nights total capitulation to the Giants. I know that the Bulls alos got a stuffing but with two sides weak on confidence then I think that home advantage and the many thousands of great unwashed on free tickets will do the trick for the Bulls. I do hope that I am wrong.
It is going to be a smashing start to the Easter holiday, weather wise, and the temperature will still be in the high teens as we approach kick-off. There is zero chance of rain and on what must be a firm Oldslum pitch we should be set for a fast and open game, but expect plenty of nervous mistakes and dropped balls.
Travel safe and enjoy the game.
Oh, and pray I am just being overly pessimistic.