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Viking Raid
Posted by southstander on June 29 2013 - 17:21:02

Welcome Return
Sunday afternoon sees the Rhinos take on the Vikings for the second time in thirteen days, this time at the Halton Stadium, where the home side have had a good success rate this season.

The narrow ten point win in Round 18 will count for little as the plastic pitch and yet more Rhinos absentees will level the playing field.

This could be a really tough ask for the lads.

We preview the game, read more here...

Jamie Jones-Buchanan is the latest addition to the Rhinos injury list, now almost a complete first team census, but somehow we're still tucked in nicely at fourth spot in Superleague. Even a loss tomorrow will not see us drop down the table as the weekend concludes, thanks to a big win for last weeks tormentors the Huddersfield Giants in Friday nights televised game.

There are two good bits of news for Brian McDermott. Joel Moon, having a superb season since his winter switch from the Salford Reds, is back from suspension and Kallum Watkins returns from the knee injury which he picked up against Hull FC at the end of May.

Alex Foster is once again named in the nineteen after missing out last week and Big Mac names his squad as; Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Baldwinson, and Foster. We're now pretty much sorted in the backs but there is a whole heap of inexperience in the forwards and the half-backs. It could be another along afternoon.

The Vikings have just won just once in their last five outings, although that was a comeback 32-28 win away at the Bradford Bulls last Sunday afternoon. They lost their last home game, against the Wigan Warriors, by just a point and the week before drew at home with the Catalans Dragons. They are no pushover on their own ground.

Winterstein is back in the squad for the injured Cahill and Will Isa is back in the reckoning after returning from injury. Dennis Betts names his nineteen as; Ah Van, Allen, Brown K., Clarke, Craven, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Pickersgill, and Winterstein.

The Rhinos have been to the Halton Stadium five times in the Superleague era and returned with the points on three occasions, the last one being a 44-16 win in February 2012 when Jones-Bishop, Hall and Burrow all helped themselves to braces. Prediction
Vikings 20 24 Rhinos

The bookies have given the home side a four point start and I suspect that they will be pretty close to the mark. I'm tipping the same winning margin and will be keeping everything crossed, wearing my lucky pants, and saluting every magpie on the journey across.

It looks like it will be a nice day tomorrow with just a small chance of rain but temperatures nearing twenty degrees.

It could be a close game, get yourselves over there and cheer on the lads as we look to get level on points with third placed Warrington.



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