A suspension for 2013 ever present Joel Moon is the latest setback for the Rhinos coaching staff as they once again are forced to dip into the talented junior ranks to muster a nineteen man squad.
Carl Ablett is back in contention after recovering from injury but Liam Sutcliffe is a concern after getting a deadleg on Monday in the win over the Vikings. Brian McDermott names five teenagers in his nineteen man squad and the average age is just twenty-four. Loose forward Elliot Minchella would, if named in the seventeen, be the first Leeds player to have been born after the advent of the Superleague era.
With Alex Foster, a centre/second row also named in the squad, players like Keinhorst and Singleton must now be considered as experienced as the injury crisis continues to bite. McDermott names his nineteen as; Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Hall, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Baldwinson, Foster, and Minchella.
The Giants, by contrast, have close to a clean bill of health. Their three International representatives returned to training after an early week break and reported no problems.
Despite losing last time out, at Hull KR, the Giants are sitting pretty in second spot in Superleague and providing they keep a fit squad they must be real contenders to make an impact on the play-offs.
Larne Patrick gets a recall to the squad after being 'dropped' for the last game as Anderson names his nineteen as; Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Ferguson, Mullally, and Dawson. Just one squad change to the last run out with Dawson in for Dwyer.
The Giants have won the last four meetings between the sides (all competitions) with the Rhinos last tasting victory in the play-off in September 2011 by 34-28. The last time that the Rhinos won in Huddersfield in a regular SuperLeague round was twelve days before the play-off win when we won 31-24.
In all regular round games played during the Superleague era the Rhinos have won 24 and lost just six.
The bookies have given us a ten point start but I think we'll need that and a few more. There really is a very small chance of a Leeds victory as our injury list reads like the great and the good of Leeds. I am certain that the kids, with a sprinkling of first teamers, will give 100% effort but it just won't be enough against the Giants - 2013 style. It could be a big loss but I hope we can keep it to three converted tries.
The weather forcast is for 60% chance of rain, of the showers variety, with temperatures in the mid-teens.
I think we'll get a drubbing but just in case, get yourself there and cheer on the lads.
Enjoy the game.