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Leigh Call On Ghost of '71
Posted by southstander on May 11 2012 - 08:52:34

After two rounds against fellow Super League opposition, the magic of the Challenge Cup sends us on an away day to Leigh Sports Village to take on a club with a massive rugby league history, for the first time since 2006.

The Rhinos welcome Rob Burrow, Kallum Watkins and Weller Hauraki into the squad after injury lay-offs and the bookies have given the home side a thirty point start.

A straight-forward Rhinos win, or another cup giant-killing on the cards?

We preview the game, read more here...

It's excellent news that Weller, Rob and Kallum are all back in contention although it is likely that only Hauraki will be the only one to make an appearance at Leigh tonight with the others getting another week to recover, being thrown back into first team action against Saints a week on monday.

Last weeks loss at Hull must have hurt the players and upset the coach and tonight is an excellent opportunity for them to put things right against the Championship side.

The Rhinos will be missing Peacock (knee), Delaney (ankle) and Griffin (rested) but apart from that we are at full strength with Bailey returning after his late withdrawal last saturday. The ninteen named by Big Mac is; Webb, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Smith, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Hauraki, Moore, and Lunt.

Leigh Centurions are coached by Leigh native Paul Rowley who many will remember for his spells at Halifax and Huddersfield. As with many Championship teams, Leighs playing staff is a blend of youth and experience with plenty of players on their books with some Super League experience.

Leigh are on the back of a seven game winning run which includes their golden point victory over Halifax in the fifth round, but they will be without captain Duffy and ex-Wigan prop Bibey, both injured.

The home side will be looking to rekindle the spirit of 1971 when Alex Murphys' Leigh side beat Leeds 24-7 at Wembley to lift the trophy in their last cup final appearance.

At the time of writing, Rowley hadn't named his squad.

Three Rhinos we may be welcoming back;




The last time that these two sides met was in April 2006 when the fourth round of the Challenge Cup saw us grab a 36-12 win an a mud bath and dreadful weather. Just six of the side that played six years ago could feature in tonights game (Smith, McGuire. Burrow, Sinfield, Kirke and Bailey).

In 2005 Leigh had been a Super League side and played the Rhinos on three occasions with the Rhinos being victorious on all three occasions.

The Rhinos won away by 60-4 and 74-0 while the encounter at Headingley was much closer with a 42-24 scoreline. Prediction
Leigh 6 42 Rhinos

This would have been the draw that Leeds had been hoping for, against the only remaining non Super League side. There is only the slightest chance of an upset, but Leigh fans will turn up in numbers hoping that their dreams could become reality. With SKY declining the opportunity to show the game live, the only way that you will see it is to be there in the flesh and that will hopefully mean a decent following from Leeds to cheer the guys on.

It's very difficult to see anything other than a comprehensive Rhinos victory.

The forecast is for a little rain leading up to kick-off but then abating for the game. At least we're under cover which is more than you can say for the last time that we played at Leigh.

Have a safe trip over and enjoy the game, and hoprfully our progression into the semi finals. My tips for the other games: Saints, Catalans and the Giants.



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