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Zakless Rhinos Take on Giant Nemesis
Posted by southstander on June 12 2014 - 06:51:41

A Very Naughty Boy
'He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy!'

The professional lip-readers of the United Kingdom must be rubbing their hands at their potential rise in income as the RFL recruit a team to scrutinise every second of every game to find more players, coaches (watch out Mr Wane this could get very expensive), and officials to follow in Zak Hardakers suspended boots.

Leeds, already looking shakey in recent games, are without the services of one of the most exciting players in the game for the next five outings. Mercifully, Jamie Peacock avoided a suspension for fighting.

Next up, the Huddersfield Giants.

We preview the game, read more here...

The next five games with give Ben Jones-Bishop the extended run that he's been craving to show the Rhinos what they will be missing next season when he will be plying his trade at Salford Red Devils. He'll slot straight into the full-back position but into a pressure-cooker of a game against the Giants.

Ian Kirke will make his 300th appearance for the Rhinos tonight, provided he makes the seventeen, but all eyes will be on the new set-up in the backs as the Rhinos look to overcome their Giants hoo-doo.

McDermott names his seventeen as; Minchella, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Peacock, Sinfield, S Ward,, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Walters, and R Ward. It looks like Minchella and Walters will be the two to miss out, but I have learnt to never second-guess the coach.

Paul Andersons side had a dreadful start to the season, despite their opening win at the DW against the Champions. Despite a number fo early losses they have now found their feet and are beginning their run towards Old Trafford with eyes on improving on their League Leaders Sheild that they collected last year.

Surprisingly, they will be without the services of Shaun Lunt tonight who has been omitted from the squad, but they do have Kopczak and Chan back in contention for places in the seventeen.

With four wins in their last five outings, and after a weekend off, Anderson names his nineteen as; Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ferres, Chan, Bailey, Lawrence, Patrick, Faiumu, Ta'ai, Wood, Broughton, and Johnson.

The Rhinos haven't won on the last five occasions that the two sides have met, and you have to go back to the Play-Offs of Superleague XVII in 2011 for a Rhinos win by 34-28 thanks to a Hardaker hat-trick and a Webb brace.

Last year we lost in Huddersfield by 18-40 and in 2012 we lost there 24-38. The game played out earlier this season saw a draw at the John Smith's Stadium when the Rhinos can count themselves lucky to have scrambled a 12-12 outcome.

This game is more than tough.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 14 20 Giants

The Giants could narrow the gap to the Rhinos to just three points with a win tonight, but a victory for the home side will see them back at the top of the league in advance of Saints trip to the South of France on Saturday. It's pretty tight at the top.

I think that this could be a belter and there will be very little to choose between the sides. It could really go either way but after a couple of shaky performances in recent weeks I'll give the Giants a slight momentum edge.

The bookies have given the Giants a six point start on the coupon and I'd be putting my money on them with that start.

It is going to be a beautiful day weather wise with wall to wall sunshine and temperatures in the late teens throughout the match.

Travel safe and keep everything crossed that we can pinch the points.

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