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A Season Re-born?
Posted by southstander on August 31 2012 - 09:09:58

New Target
I suspect that it will have been a quiet week at Headingley, but a crucial one.

The lads will have been deep in thought, licking their wounds, and making their own decision as to whether Saturdays Wembley loss was the end of our season, or the satrt of our Grand Final campaign.

Tonight, as supporters, we'll find out what decision they all made with a home game against a side we've already beaten twice this season, and who have only won once at HQ in the Superleague era.

Bring on the Salford Reds, the Rhinos litmus test for the next six weeks.

We preview the game, read more here...

We were simply outplayed by the Wolves. They came with a game plan, stuck to it, rode a brief Rhinos first half fightback, and went home with the trophy. The best thing we can do is act like it never happened, and focus on a good finish to Super League and an 'all guns blazing' attack on the play-offs. Hopefully we'll end up at Old Trafford again, and maybe we will have a chance to avenge the Wembley defeat with another tilt at the Wolves.

Brian McDermott has kept to the same seventeen that were defeated last weekend and has added Weller Hauraki and Chris Clarkson to the squad of nineteen. It sounded as though McGuire may have has a fitness test last weekend to see if there was a chance of him playing but as he didn't I'd now not expect to see him until the play-offs, possibly not until after the first play-off.

Last week will have been invaluable experience for Ward and Keinhorst, the latter of which mustn't have been able to believe his luck in that within a month of his debut he was playing at Wembley.

The nineteen is; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Hauraki, Griffin, Ward, Lunt, and Keinhorst.

Phil Vievers Salford Reds side have had a week off the action, but this has done little to eleviate his injury problems. Ashley Gibson is back in contention after a recovering from a dislocated elbow, and he's included young half-back Theo Fages in his ninteen man squad.

The Reds are without Moon, Paleaasina, Jewitt, Godwin, and McPherson. It's a tough ask for them to bounce back from the 38-6 mauling dished out by the Warriors a fortnight ago. Vievers ninteen is; Patten, Broughton, Gleeson, Gibson, Williams, Holdsworth, Owen, Walne, Howarth, Boyle, Ashurst, Anderson, Wild, Nero, Veivers, James, Sidlow, Neal, and Adamson.

Three Reds to keep an eye on;


Gibson

Fages

Williams

The Rhinos have visited the new home of the Reds on two occasions so far this season, and each time have come away with the victory.

We got a big 56-16 on a cold and windy night in March. A month later we were drawn to visit Salford in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup and met a much stiffer challenge in the wind and rain to escape with the win by a narrow 16-10 margin.

In twenty-nine Super League meetings the Rhinos have won on twenty-eight occasions, the only blot on our copybook being the 20- 30 defeat at Headingley on the 13th April 2009. For the record the biggest Rhinos win was 60-6, way back in the 1987-88 season.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 38 10 Reds

We should win this one easily. A fired up, wounded Rhino against a Reds side beset by injury who can do nothing other than finish Superleague XVII in eleventh place (barring a couple of miracle results). I've gone for a twenty-eight point win, but there is every chance that the Reds may feel a massive Wembley backlash and it could be a lot more than that. I hope it is, we need to confidence boost.

The bookies are slightly less confident that I am and have given the visitors an eighteen point start on the coupon.

Todays forecast is good up until six o'clock with a chance of drizzle up to kick-off and into the match, hopefully it will stay dry and we can have a good, open and fast game.

This is where our season ends or begins, it's up to the lads. Get yourself to Headingley and see what it will be!

Enjoy the game.

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