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A Giant Problem
Posted by southstander on March 08 2013 - 08:37:04

TMFMISL Back
It should have been a great week in the Rhinos camp as the lads basked in the glory of their comprehensive victory over the Saints last weekend at Langtree Park.

We'll need all that confidence as Paul Anderson brings his high-flying Huddersfield Giants side to HQ, still licking their wounds after last weeks shock home loss to the Bulls.

In a weekend of great looking fixtures, this could be a belter.

We preview the game, read more here...

There is a small injury worry over Carl Ablett ahead of tonights clash and he will face a late fitness test. Ryan Bailey is now 'fully recovered' from his knee operation and is likely to return to the seventeen at the expense of Richard Moore, who has been an able deputy. The Rhinos full back problems continue as there is still no sign of a return for Zak Hardaker and Brian McDermott names the same nineteen as last week, with Achurch back in the list after an outing for Hunslet on Sunday.

The full nineteen is; Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, and Vickery. It looks likely that Moore and Achurch will be the two to miss out, however, I think it might be a better policy to have an extra forward on the bench for the visit of the Giants, possibly at the expense of McShane.

We are still looking mightily exposed down our Ablett/Vickery wing, despite Saints undoing us down the left side last week.

In contrast it will have been a week of soul-searching for the Giants. Anderson wasn't happy when they were winning big, so he'll have been stripping the wallpaper off this week.

In their defeat to the Bulls the Giants missed the services of Danny Brough, and Huddersfield fans will be pleased to know that he is back in contention for this week after recovering from illness.

Dale Ferguson has been recalled from his loan spell at Hull KR and prop Stuart Fielden takes the place of Anthony Mullally after a week off against the Bulls.

Shaun Lunt will be looking for a big performance to vindicate his decision to return to the John Smiths after helping the Rhinos to their Grand Final win last year, and Stuart Fielden will be hoping that he can play better against us in the claret and gold than he did in the cherry and white.

Baloo names his nineteen as; Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Patrick, Chan, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Fairbank, Fielden, and Ferguson.

Up until a couple of seasons ago it had been a fifty year drought for the Giants at Headingley but the Giants have picked up the two points in their last two visits; in 2011 they won by 6-38 and last year the visitors secured a 12-22 win.

The last time that the two sides met was in round 27 last year, when the Giants were again triumphant (making it three in the last four regular season meetings) by the scoreline of 24-48. History tells a different story though with the Rhinos winning on twenty-four of the twenty-nine regular season meetings.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 18 18 Giants

This is too close for me to call and I am going for a draw. The bookies aren't quite so confident and must be putting a lot of weight into last weeks win against the Saints as they are giving the Giants a twelve point start on the coupon.

The weather forcast doesn't look great. It's going to be pretty cold with a chance of some light rain all day turning heavier as kick-off approaches.

I think it will be a close one, get yourself there and cheer on the lads.

Enjoy the game.

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