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Wounded Rhinos Take on the Vikings
Posted by southstander on June 16 2013 - 15:05:15

Welcome Return
Monday night sees the Rhinos play one of their games in hand as they welcome the Widnes Vikings to Headingley.

Two points would lift the Rhinos above the Catalans Dragons and into fourth spot, but a win for the Vikings would also see them climbing above Wakefield into tenth.

If the Rhinos are to get the points then it will be without yet more regular first teamers as Bailey and Delaney are added to the injured list, but one piece of good news is the likely return of Ben Jones-Bishop for his first game in 2013.

We preview the game, read more here...

Brian McDermott must be wondering how he upset the 'Rugby Gods', perhaps Phil Clarke could explain.

During the week we learned that Ryan Bailey is out for up to six weeks with a broken thumb, and Brett Delaney will be missing for up to three weeks following knee surgery. These two join the list of Ablett, McGuire, Ward, Hood, Vickery and Watkins. There are also Monday night doubts over Leuluai and Sinfield, the latter dislocating a thumb while captaining England to a great win over the Exiles on Friday night.

Ben Jones-Bishop does return to the Rhinos squad after a lengthy lay-off due to lung problems identified over the winter. Brian McDermott has also drafted in England U19 captain Jordan Baldwinson who may make his debut. The full nineteen is; Ablett, Baldwinson, Burrow, Clarkson, Hall, Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Jones-buchanan, Keinhorst, Kirke, Leuluai, McShane, Minns, Moon, Moore, Peacock, Sinfield, Singleton, and Sutcliffe. It's anyones guess who will get the nod, and who will miss out due to injury. It would seem foolish to risk Sinfield and Leuluai if they are not fully fit.

Widnes haven't won for four games and last won away from home in Superleague at Langtree Park against the Saints.

Dennis Betts will be delighted that Gareth Hock is returning after another long suspension but the visitors will be without Chris Dean who picked up a shoulder injury in his last outing. The Widnes nineteen is; Ah Van, Allen, K Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Flynn, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Pickersgill, White, and Winterstein.

This is the first of two games in a fortnight against the Vikings as we travel to Cheshire for the return match on the 30th June. Leeds have won seven out of nine Superleague encounters between the two sides, and have been victorious in the last six meetings.

The last time that the Vikings won a league game at Headingley was back in Superleague VII (2002) when they beat us 14-10.

Last year the Rhinos won a high-scoring game at Headingley by 68-24 when ten different try scorers crossed the whitewash.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 38 20 Tigers

Even with a whole host of first-teamers missing this should still be the Rhinos game. The bookies have given the Vikings a sixteen point start on the coupon and I don't think that will be too far off the mark.

The forecast for tommorow is pretty pleasant with only a small chance of rain. Fingers crossed for a great match and a decent crowd turning up to watch it.

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