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Climbing the Ladder
Posted by southstander on September 05 2014 - 10:34:13

Desperate to Win
I just feel a bit deflated after last week. A one point loss snatched away our chance of finishing at the top of the pile and other results now mean that we'll need a miracle to finish above fourth.

We travel to a Wigan side who are in a similar predicament but we are without the suspended Joel Moon while Zak Hardaker is currently out on probation (leaving many opposition fans foaming at the mouth) and available to play.

Will Big Mac have sewn his lips together ahead of tonights fifth versus sixth clash at the DW Stadium?

We preview the game, read more here...

SKY have picked the game of the round for Friday night rugby league as Wigan and Leeds battle to climb the Superleague ladder with the goal of a top four finish.

Jimmy Keinhorst has been recalled to the Rhinos side with a chance to make his first appearance of 2014 in Rhinos colours after seven games on loan at Wakefield Wildcats. Joel Moon's shoulder charge was deemed to merit a two game ban meaning he will be back for the play-offs, and despite Zak being 'under investigation' the RFL's crack team of lip-readers haven't reached a conclusion, goodness knows how long it will take them to wade through the hours of Shaun Wane footage once they are finished with the Rhinos full-back.

McGuire and Burrow both face late fitness tests and if we were to lose one it wouldn't be the end of the World but both could spell big problems.

McDermott names a ninteen of; Hardaker, Watkins, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, S Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Achurch, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, and Keinhorst.

The Warriors announced during the week that Ian Thornley would miss the rest of the season through injury. Good news for Shaun Wane was that Liam Farrell was successful in his defence against a reckless tackle charge at the same disciplinary as Moon and is eligible for selection.

Wane has recalled Tomkins, Bowen and Powell for the 'Big 1 Five' and names his nineteen as; Bateman, Bowen, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Dudson, L Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Green, Hughes, Manfredi, McIlorum, O'Loughlin, Pettybourne, Powell, Sarginson, Smith, and Tomkins.

This will be the third meeting of the season between these side with honours currently even. Leeds won at Headingley in early May by 28-12 but lost the game at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight later by 14-18 when Superleague went on the road.

Since the start of Superleague the two sides have met forty-seven times in the regular rounds with Leeds having been victorious on eighteen occasions, Wigan twenty-five, and four games having ended in draws.

The last time that the Rhinos won at the DW was in Round 27 last season, exactly a year ago, when tries from Ablett, Jones-Bishop, Watkins and Moon grabbed a 20-6 win. Fingers crossed for a repeat.

Southstander.com Prediction
Warriors 12 24 Rhinos

With the exception of Castleford, most teams fans will feel that their side doesn't really deserve to finish very high in the league. Saints fans, still can't believe that they are at the top, and with some of the awful Leeds performances in recent weeks I can't believe that we still have a chance of finishing inside the top four.

The bookies have made the Warriors the favourites and have given the Rhinos a four point start on the coupon. That simply equates to home advantage and a big crowd which the Big One should attract, especially with Andy Farrell playing in the curtain-raiser for the Joining Jack charity.

I think that this is the game which will see us back to winning ways and hope that we'll start to show some of the form that we'll need going into the play-offs. It is also crucial for our aspirations of a top four finish.

The forecast looks pretty nice, with sunshine and cloud and the temperature still in the late teens at kick-off. What else better have you got to do? Get yourself over to Wigan and cheer the Cup holders to victory.

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