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Posted by southstander on August 28 2014 - 12:23:44

Cup Hangover?
It is difficult enough for us to climb back down from cloud nine after last weekends superb Challenge Cup final win, so it must be ten times more difficult for the players.

We've been thrown right back in at the deep-end with a 'must win' game against the league leaders St Helens who are fresh from a weekend off and looking for a win to more-or-less secure the 2014 minor premiership.

You may have expected the boss to give a few of the 'old-timers' an extra week to recover but he's made his intentions clear and named an unchanged side.

We preview the game, read more here...

Drop-goal and try hero Danny McGuire was the main concern ahead of Friday nights clash with the Saints after he picked up a knock at Wembley, but he's been named in the nineteen and is likely to play.

Mitch Achurch and Brad Singleton are the two additions to the magnificent seventeen who ended fifteen years of hurt last Saturday and brought home the silverware to Headingley, a place where it has spent far too little time in recent years.

Big Mac will choose from a business like nineteen of; Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Achurch, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, and Singleton. If everyone is fully fit then I expect that the seventeen will be the same as last weekend.

There is no Wellens, Wilkin or Wheeler for the visitors who are suffering an injury crisis at the wrong end of the season. It is testament to the Saints dogged determination that they are three points clear at the top of the pile despite having what many of their supporters would class as a poor season.

They have lost, unexpectedly, to both Hull sides and been nilled by the Catalans Dragons over the last couple of months and despite all their near contenders having given them the opportunity to seal the minor premiership they still need two wins from their last three games to be absolutely certain of winning the hub cap.

Brown names his ninteen as; Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Dawson, Richards, and McDonnell. There are plenty of danger men but on paper it looks like the Rhinos have the stronger squad.

The sides have met twice this season with honours shared. The Saints won the game at Langtree Park at the end of March by 10-14 but the Rhinos were emphatic winners on their way to Wembley with a 32-12 fifth round win in April.

The last time that Saints visited Headingley in Superleague was the play-off game at the end of last year when the Rhinos had a memorable 11-10 win despite losing four months earlier in the league by 22-30. Prediction
Rhinos 16 24 Saints

The bookies have given the Saints a four point start on the coupon and if they are right then we'd narrow Saints Superleague lead over us to just two points. The advantage is small and I think that I'd be taking the visitors for the win with that margin. I just have a feeling that despite being the consumate professionals the urge to party after Saturday afternoon may have proved too strong for some. Lets hope that none of those taking the 'ice bucket challenge' who have been cropping up all over Facebook this week have caught a chill.

The current forecast is for it to start raining late afternoon tomorrow and continue until after the final whistle, it could be a good omen for the Rhinos, you know what happens when we play the Saints in the rain.

Travel safe and enjoy the match...



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