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Singing in the Rain
Posted by southstander on July 06 2012 - 08:11:14

Big Bird Returns
Tonight is the Rhinos sternest test for four games. Tonight we'll see if the top four is a realistic prospect or just a pipe dream. Tonight will see the Rhinos twitterati in a self-publicity frenzy. Tonight we'll mostly be wearing blue and lime.

Tonight, we're going to get pretty wet!

Anyone got space on their ark?

We preview the game, read more here...

The only certainty about tonight is; it's going to rain.

Sixth plays seventh with fifth spot up for grabs, at least until Huddersfield beat Castleford on Sunday. The bookies have given the visitors a fourteen point start on the coupon, which seems to be a bit disrespectful. The weather will be a leveller, Hull FC aren't banging on the door of the top four without merit, and the Rhinos form this season can only be described at best as patchy.

Leeds welcome back Jamie Peacock, freshly retired from international duties, and Brett Delaney who has shaken off an injury. Resplendent in the blue and lime charity kit in support of the Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity, Leeds players will wear their twitter 'handles' on the back of their shirts (except Bailey who has been banned from wearing his by the RFL).

The Rhinos have four players taking to the field for the second time in three days after being on England v. Exiles duty at the Galpharm on wednesday night. Leuluai, Ablett, Burrow and JJB are all asked to dig deep and find a little extra as the Rhinos look to keep their unbeaten run going.

Big Mac has named his nineteen as; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Hauraki, Griffin, Ward, and Lunt.

Hull coach Gentle was dealt two big blows during the week with the losses of Moa and Tickle until the end of the season (although bizarrely both are named in the nineteen). Youngsters Bowden and Kent are also ruled out and Chris Green replaces Reece Lyne. Hull have two players backing up from Origin with Briscoe and Manu playing their second game of the week.

Gentles ninteen is; Aspinwall, Briscoe, Crooks, Green, Heremaia, Horne, Lynch, Manu, Moa, Nicklas, Pitts, Russell, Seymour, Tickle, Turner, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, and Yeaman. Expect to see a couple of names not in this list on the eventual team sheet, one of them likely to be assistant coach Radford who will come out of retirement for a second time since hanging up his boots.

Three airlie Birds to keep an eye on;


Aspinwall

Manu

Whiting

After picking up the two points at the KC Stadium earlier in the season by 20-34, FC are looking for their first home and away Super League double over the Rhinos for five years. Back in 2007 we played the Airlie Birds three times, winning the first encounter at home by 18-4 but then losing at the KC by 12-16 and at Headingley by 6-17.

Last season it was the Rhinos who did the double with a 32-18 win in February and a 20-0 win in July before then knocking Hull out of the play-offs in the last Headingley meeting between the two sides.

Leeds have won 23 regular round encounters between the two sides compared to Hulls eight, with a solitary draw back in Super League VIII.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 32 28 FC

It should be a Rhinos win but I am not massively confident. I've predicted a narrow four point win in a match which the conditions dictate will be littered with errors and which is likely to see the scoreboard ticking over at regular intervals. Leeds should have enough and we'll be looking for big games from Peacock and Delaney after they were spared the trip to London last weekend.

Did I mention that it is going to rain. There are severe weather warnings out so just take care and get to the ground safe.

Be safe, see you there, and keep everything crossed for a Rhinos win.

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