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Rugby Feast at the Pie Dome
Posted by southstander on February 10 2012 - 09:24:17

New gaffa
After a shock home season-opening defeat against the Giants last Sunday, there will have consternation around the DW Stadium. Those doing the 'Wigan Walk' will have been showered in the confetti of torn up season tickets, as the home supporters feared a return to the dark days under the coaching of new dynamic duo Wane and Harris.

Without suspended Farrell and the broken-thumbed Carmont, the Cherry & Whites must already be feeling embattled.

But they can't have 'gone bad' overnight. Can they?

We preview the game, read more here...

Big Mac has a bit of a selection headache at the moment, but it's the kind of headache which he will hope that he can keep all season. The issue at the moment is who to leave out from a strong looking squad, although saturday will give an indication of the side which he currently thinks is his strongest seventeen, because only the best will do against the Warriors.

Jones-Buchanan and Sinfield seem to have come through injury scares and last fridays winning seventeen is complemented by Clarkson and Moore. I have a suspicion that Richard Moore will get the call over Griffin but that Clarkson may well miss out again. Expect Burrow to start at hooker again with McShane joined by three other forwards on the bench.

The nineteen is; Webb, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, L. Smith, Delaney, Bailey, Clarkson, Hauraki, Griffin, and Moore.

Losing their first game in charge wouldn't have been on the pre-match agenda for Wane and Harris, even though they were up against the ever dangerous Giants.

Farrell is suspended for one game following a 'dangerous contact' with Leroy Cudjoe in last weeks game and George Carmont is out for up to one month after breaking his thumb in the same game. Wane will therefore have to rely on a couple of relatively inexperienced youngsters in his side and will choose between Mellor, Burke and Spencer for the spaces.

For his second game in charge he names a nineteen of; S. Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Richards, Finch, Leuluai, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin, Lima, Tuson, Lauaki, Flower, Mellor, Hughes, Burke, Spencer.

Three pie eaters to keep an eye on;


Rat Boy

Richards

Psycho

'The hairy halibut' is in charge with the whistle which, as ever, adds another highly unpredictable variable into the mix. Admittedly he's less dangerous on the field than he is in the video box but some of his decisions still seem to be made with the help of a coin-toss.

The Rhinos haven't won at the DW since that infamous 27-26 play-off victory in September 2010, the one where God injured Danny McGuire.

Wigan beat us once in Superleague last season, but only by two points and in the other game we drew after being in total control for 60 minutes. The third meeting in 2011 was, of course, the showdown at Wembley when Phil Bentham decided that it was to be Wigans Day.

Southstander.com Prediction
Warriors 16 22 Rhinos

I think that the Warriors are still sorting themselves out and adjusting to Iestyn Harris being in the camp. Leeds, on the other hand, seem to have been much quicker out of the blocks this season than they were last and look much bigger, fitter and stronger even than last season. There is a quiet determination throughout the squad and they want returns to Wembley and Old Trafford and the continued glory.

I think that we'll sneak this one, but not by too many, and it should be a cracker.

The forecast suggests it's going to struggle to get above freezing tomorrow and with a risk of ice and potentially some snow, please travel carefully and wrap up warm.

Enjoy the game, roar on the lads, and fingers crossed for a second victory in 2012 and a brilliant injury free warm-up for next weekends World Club Challenge.

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