The Rhinos took a big beating at the Wildcats last season when despite a Ryan Hall hat-trick we were hammered by 18-38 by Richard Agars underdogs. It was no fluke either as the side who will always raise their game against their wealthy neighbours from just up the road have won two out of the last three meetings on their own turf.
The lads put in a great effort last week to bounce back and secure a good victory against a side they'd not beaten in a regular Superleague round for four years. Several big players had big games and there was no-one to really point a finger of complaint at. Consequently Brian McDermott has named a squad of the same nineteen and is likely, injuries permitting (Ablett), to go with the same seventeen.
The full squad is; Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, and Vickery.
The Wildcats are sitting in the bottom half of the table with five points from their seven outings. Early season wins against Hull KR and London Broncos, and a draw against the Reds show that they can get points from the teams around them but they have been found wanting against those sides who usually occupy top eight slots.
The Wakefield manager has Justin Poore and Ali Lauiti'iti back in his nineteen and the former will be looking forward to re-acquainting himself with Ryan Bailey after an altercation between the pair saw Poore red carded on Boxing Day. Old Headingley favourite Ali Lauiti'iti will no doubt get the plaudits of the travelling Rhinos fans and he will be looking for a stong game as will a whole host of other ex-Rhinos in the Wakefield squad as Mathers, Fox, Smith and Amor come up against their past employer.
Agars' nineteen is; Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, Sykes, Wood, Poore, Aiton, Wilkes, Lauiti'iti, Mellars, Washbrook, L Smith, Annakin, Amor, Mariano, Trout, and Wildie.
The Rhinos have won twenty-nine out of thirty-four regular Superleague Rounds against the Wildcats since the start of the competition and also picked up a win in the bad tempered Festive Challenge at Headingley by 40-26.
This should be the Rhinos game, but we need to show them respect and grind out the win. If we play like we did last week then it should be comfortable, if we play like we did a fortnight ago then we could be in a spot of bother. If we show any weakness, Wakefield will punish us.
The forecast is for some awful weather over the next forty-eight hours and there is every chance that the weather could disrupt the game, or at the very least, travel to the game. Keep an eye on the forecats for up-to-date snow information and if you are going down the road then please travel safe and wrap up warm.
We should be able to get the result, I am cautiously optimistic.
Enjoy the game which will be guest reported on as I cannot make the game.