The Rhinos injury list remained static after last week and none of our walking wounded are ready for a return to action. Brian McDermott has therefore named the same nineteen who dominated the Widnes Vikings for sixty-minutes last Sunday before letting them back into the game in the last twenty. That means that Alex Foster has a chance of making his second appearance and Liam Sutcliffe and Thomas Minns could be celebrating their new Rhinos contracts in style.
It looks like this might be the side for a couple more weeks with Sinfield and Delaney the next two who are likely to return.
The full squad is; Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Baldwinson, and Foster.
The Wolves are on a five game unbeaten run and seem to have all of their stars back from an early season injury crisis and ready for action.
At least two of these players (Carvell and Morley) are looking for a big end to the season as they have committed to new clubs for 2014. It is a Wolves side which looks to have far too much skill and experience to give the Rhinos yongsters a chance, but if we can play like we did in the first half last Sunday then we could be in with a chance of pulling off a chock win in front of the SKY cameras.
Tony Smith has named his nineteen as; Atkins, Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Grix, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J Monaghan, M Monaghan, Morley, Ratchford, C Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, and Wood.
In regular Superleague rounds between the two sides the Rhinos currently lead by a convincing 27-11, with one game being a draw. The last time that the two sides met was Leeds 28-22 win at Headingley earlier in the season, the time before that was at Old Trafford last October, the night of that famous 26-18 victory. The meeting before that was at Wembley when the Wolves were 35-18 victors. Honours were shared in the regular rounds meetings in 2012 with the Rhinos winning 26-18 at Headingley in March and losing 37-18 at the
Halliwell-Jones in early June.
The bookies have given the Rhinos a fourteen point start on the coupon but I don't hink that will be enough. Admittedly we played much better than we could have hoped for the first half last week, and that does give me some hope, but our performances in general this season mean that was the exception rather than the rule. If we are even a few percent off our top game tonight then the Wolves will absolutely maul us.
The forecast for today is for wall to wall sunshine and a mild evening with zero chance of any rain. It should be perfect conditions for open rugby, we just need to hope that we can get the ball at some point.
Fingers crossed for the Rhinos achieving the unexpected.
Enjoy the game.