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Rhinos To Get Mugged by the Wolves?
Posted by southstander on July 22 2005 - 17:53:59

By SouthStander.com and Matthew Horton

The Rhinos make their first trip of the season to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, a trip which will be repeated in six weeks time for Round 27 of Superleague X.

The Wolves are a side on the up, and after getting close to us in the Challenge Cup earlier in the year, they will be looking to get one over on the league leaders.

In a week which has seen more players announcing their exodous from Headingley at the end of the year, you have to worry that this might just be the game where the Wolves mug us of the points.

Tony Smith will welcome back Danny Ward to the seventeen this week, as Ryan Baileys continued absence due to 'mumps' leaves us looking weak in the front row. Francis Cummins is the man likely to drop out of last weeks seventeen to accommodate the big man up front. Apart from that it is as you were with Scruton and McGuire both getting over last weeks knock and being declared fit to play.

Warrington come into this game on the back of victory over the London Broncos last weekend. Dean Gaskell misses out for the Wolves with a groin injury. Graham Appo looks like he'll get the task of playing on the wing. Lee Briers will captain the side and the dangerous right hand side combination of Martin Gleeson and Henry Fa'afili. Chris Bridge in a a rich vain of form following his arrival from Bradford. Logan Swann, another ex-Bull will line up in the second row.

The Warrington 18-Man squad is Grose, Fa’afili, Martin Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Briers, N. Wood, Hilton, Clarke, Leikvoll, Swann, Wainwright, Noone, Mark Gleeson, Westwood, P. Wood, Lima, Appo, Bridge.

It is a 'tasty' looking Wolves side and they will cause the Rhinos some problems. Briers, Martin Gleeson and Nat Wood all have the skill to work the angles and unlock a Rhinos defence which looked incredibly fragile for the opening twenty minutes of the second half last week. The Rhinos should have got any remenants ofthe 'Perpignan debacle' out of their systems by now and Smith will expect/demand a workmanlike performance.

Three Wolves to watch;


Thug

Dummy Spitter

The Gambler

Leeds haven't lost to the Wolves since Superleague VII, and have never lost at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Having said that, Warrington have won eight out of their last nine, with just a defeat to Wigan as a blot on their recent copybook. They are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with and need the two points to consolidate third place above Hull FC.

I am very nervous about this one, and think that the Warrington side have the fire power to get past us, particularly if we aren't 100%. For one of the very few times in my tipping career I'm going for a Wolves win, in the hope that the lads can prove me wrong. With Saints possibly going top tonight if they can beat Leigh, it could be the weekend which sees us tumble from our lofty perch for the first time in almost two years.

Southstander.com Prediction
Wolves 28 24 Rhinos

The weather looks set fair but that won't bother the fans who are all under cover. It shouldn't be too warm, which will help both sets of players put on a decent show for the cameras.

The bookies have given the Wolves an eight point start, which is incredibly generous to the Rhinos. I'd be backing the Wolves with that margin, it will be a tough one.

Although saturday evening kick-offs, when the game is on SKY, are usually poorly attended, I hope that we can take decent numbers across the Pennines to get behind the lads. Now, more than ever, they need our support!

Don't forget to check out Oldladys' Ground Guide.

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