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Three Back as Leeds Head to Widnes
Posted by southstander on June 20 2014 - 14:02:52

Injury Problem Easing
With three losses in the last five matches you could be forgiven for thinking that the Rhinos are struggling. But we are not alone, Saints and Castleford have also been dropping points with the only exception being the new league leaders, Wigan Warriors.

Sunday gives us the chance to get back to winning ways with a trip to Widnes Vikings, a side whose exceptional early season form has slipped a little of late and who got hammered in their last outing against the Warriors on Wednesday night.

This should be a guaranteed two points for the Rhinos, but with a number of stars still absent, it might not be that straighforward.

We preview the game, read more here...

Widnes have only won one of their last five, over a month ago at home to the Red Devils. They've also managed one draw, against the Dragons, but have lost to Wigan, Hull FC and the Tigers.

After a fourteen week absence through a dislocated shoulder, sustained at the Round five game at Headingley, Betts names scrum Half Mellor in his nineteen for the first time. The good news doesn't stop there for the Widnes coach who also has Liam Carberry back in contention after a long injury lay-off. Negatives for Widnes include the injury to skipper Kevin Brown during the Wigan game and the resting of Jon Clarke who hasn't recovered from that midweek outing.

The full ninteen is; Ah Van, Allen, Carberry, Craven, Dean, Gerrard, Gilmore, Gore, Flynn, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, and White. The Rhinos also have some fantastic news ahead of Sundays clash with Paul Aiton, Danny McGuire and Jamie Jones-Buchanan all back in the reckoning alongisde Carl Ablett who returns after a two game suspension.

The Rhinos are still without the suspended Zak Hardaker and the injured Rob Burrow but it is looking a far healthier squad from which the final seventeen will be selected by Big Mac. He names his nineteen as; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Walters, and Ward.

The Rhinos were big 38-04 winners in the seasons first meeting of the sides at Headingley on the 14th March. We also won on our last visit to Widnes with a 52-36 win in a high-scoring encounter a few days short of a year ago, the second part of a 2013 double over The Chemics.

The Rhinos have won ten out of the thirteen regular round encounters between the two sides during the Superleague era.

Southstander.com Prediction
Vikings 8 16 Rhinos

I think that it could be a low-scoring game with the Rhinos grabbing a hard faught victory. Widnes won't just step aside and hand the Rhinos the to points and Dennis Betts will be demanding that his side bounce back from their mid-week hammering.

It is going to be a nice day in Widnes on Sunday so what's to stop you from getting yourself over to Cheshire to cheer the lads on to victory.

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

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