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Into the Wildcats Lair
Posted by southstander on July 04 2014 - 05:47:37

Skipper Returns
Round nineteen sees the Rhinos face a resurgent Wakefield Wildcats for the third time in 2014.

Leeds were winners on both previous occasions and are clear favourites with the bookies to win tonight and return to the top of Superleague, albeit only until Sunday when the Saints are favourites to beat Hull FC at the KC Stadium.

But Big Mac won't be underestimating the challenge of a Wakefield side who are unbeaten in their last three under new coach James Webster.

We preview the game, read more here...

Leeds welcome back Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai, both of whom missed last weeks last gasp win over the Dragons but will be without Carl Ablett and Mitch Achurch who both picked up knocks (shoulder and groin) in the last outing. Robbie Ward and Elliot Minchella are both called into the Rhinos squad which also features Luke Briscoe who could well be asked to face up to his recent team-mates from a spell on-loan at Belle Vue earlier in the season.

While last weeks win will have been draining physically, it must have given the lads a massive psychological lift to have; won at the last gasp, come from behind in a game where we were behind for extended periods, and beaten a improving side without the skipper on the field.

The coaches full ninteen is; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Sinfield, S Ward, Delaney, Bailey, T Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Minchella, Walters, R Ward, and L Briscoe.

Wakefield coach Webster find himself stripped of the services of captain Danny Kirmond who was injured in last weeks draw against Hull FC. He has brought back Rhinos loan player Jimmy Keinhorst after a frustrating season with injury and has drafted in youngster Max Jowitt who would make his Superleague debut if selected.

It is a Wakefield side with five ex-Rhinos, the likes of McShane, Keinhorst and Richard Moore, who all have a big point to prove. Wakefield raise their game a notch when they take on their big city rivals, and tonight will be no exception.

The full nineteen is; Mathers, Riley, D Smith, Keinhorst, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Gilmour, Jowitt, Washbrook, Ryan, Owen, Moore, T Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Scruton, and Raleigh.

The Rhinos have won the vast majority of Superleague regular round matches against the Wildcats having been victorious in thirty-two and losing just five, a win percentage of eighty-six.

Our last visit to Belle Vue was in the cup earlier this year when we demolished the home side by 60-6, teh following week the Wildcats vivited Headingley in the league and managed to keep the score down to 42-6, but the Wildcats seem to be a totally different prospect at the moment.

This match is likely to be a lot closer than the early season meetings.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 30 12 Wildcats

The bookies have given the Wildcats a fourteen point start on the coupon and I'm hopeful that we'll win more comfortably than that, but it is unlikley to be a massacre. We're boosted by the return of Sinfield, although Sutcliffe stepped up to the plate and kicked a tough goal under immense pressure last Sunday.

The forecast is for rain from late afternoon which will last throughout the match and probably be more to Wakefields liking than ours and could make the contest a little closer than it would be on a fine evening.

Travel safe and enjoy the match...

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