It was a crippling blow for Senior, and the latest in a long catalogue of bad injuries stretching back twelve months, when it was announced that the knee injury sustained last week would keep the grand daddy of Superleague out for the rest of the season. Fingers crossed that he'll make a full recovery, and that last week was not the last time we'll ever see him in Blue and Amber.
It is brilliant news that the injuries to McGuire and Webb appear to have been less serious that originally feared. These are two players who will be key to the Rhinos tonight if we are to have any chance of taking the game to Tony Smiths high flying Wolves side.
Big Mac has named his ninteen as; Webb, Smith, Delaney, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Bailey, Kirke, Hauraki, Pitts, McShane, and Hardaker. Ablett will move into the centres to take Keiths place and if fit I'd expect McGuire to be starting the game on the bench. I've no idea which two will miss out but wouldn't be surprised if one of McGuire and Webb don't actually make it.
Tony Smith has Richie Myler returning from injury (eye socket) and Brett Hodgson is also back after missing the Wolves record breaking 112-0 win last week against Swinton. Louis Anderson is still missing and Gareth O'Brien is out of the squad with a knee injury. Looking through the nineteen names which have made the Wolves squad it is difficult to identify any point of weakness.
The Wolves ninteen is; Atkins, Blythe, Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Clarke, Cooper, Grix, Higham, Hodgson, King, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Morley, Myler, Solomona, Westwood, Williams, and Wood.
Three Wolves to watch;
The Rhinos got a real mauling when they visited the Halliwell-Jones Stadium earlier in the season. On that occasion we lost by 24-40 at a time when nothing was going right for the Rhinos.
The last time that the Rhinos lost at home to the Wolves in a Superleague game was way back in Superleague VII when we lost out by a solitary point (a Briers drop goal).
Warrington haven't conceeded a single point in their last three games. They have managed to shut out their opposition for over 240 minutes of rugby league and the Rhinos first challenge will be to break that deadlock and get over the whitewash. Admittedly the opposition has been Keighley, Castleford and Swinton, but it is still an extraordinary feat. Leeds have now but together a six game unbeaten run, whereas the Wolves were beaten by Hull FC five games ago.
I can't really see a Rhinos victory tonight but I'll be praying with every ounce of my being that we can overcome the odds and get the two points. The bookies have given the Rhinos a six point start on the coupon which I think is just abouit right.
It is a reasonable forcast for tonight, dry and relatively warm.
Everything crossed for a Leeds win in front of what should be a packed house.