I have to say I am a little dismayed and confused at the way that Leeds have treated Luke Burgess over the last fortnight. Okay, so the guy refuses a new contract because he wants to play in Australia next season, but surely he still has something to offer an injury prone and struggling Leeds side for the rest of Superleague XVI? Cross, on the other hand, good riddance to bad rubbish! Perhaps Darth has a late season signing in mind to cheer us all up?
The good news for Leeds is that Ben Jones-Bishop is back in the squad for the first time since dislocating his shoulder back in March. He takes the place of Zak Hardaker who hasn't let anyone down over recent weeks and if he gets a game then we'll be looking for him to reproduce his excellent early season form.
Ablett and Clarkson also make the ninteen, Carl after being rested last week and Clarkson after a couple of weeks off from first team duties. Big Macs ninteen this week is; Webb, Smith, Delaney, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Bailey, Kirke, Hauraki, Clarkson, Jones-Bishop, and McShane.
Mick Potters side are languishing in the bottom half of the table and with weekly rounsd rapidly running out it looks increasingly unlikely that the once mighty Bulls will miss the play-offs.
The visitors have Gareth Raynor back in the side after missing last week and Bryn Hargreaves returns after three weeks absence. Kearney will have a fitness test today and is rated as 50:50. It's not a side which yells quality as Potter names; Addy, Ah Van, Burgess, Crookes, Diskin, Donaldson, Elima, Hargreaves, Herbert, Jeffries, Kearney, Kopczak, Langley, Lynch, Platt, Raynor, Scruton, Sibbit, 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. When the two sides met at Oldslum earlier in the season the scores were level at 22-22 after an hour before the Rhinos kicked on for a 30-22 win.
The last time that we lost to the Bulls was well over two years ago in April 2009 when they secured a 06-10 win in a game in which Leeds were in total control.
I'm not at all confident in my prediction. A poor Leeds preformance, as has been our way in recent weeks, will be trumped by a good Bulls run-out. If we manage to muster anything decent then we should get the spoils, but it is a big IF!
The weather forcast is pretty decent for today with the temperature in the mid-teens and very little chance of any precipitation.
Travel safe and enjoy the game.
Here is hoping for, but not expecting, a cracker.