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A Belter in Prospect - Leeds v. Bradford
Posted by southstander on August 19 2005 - 08:06:15

Say a Little Prayer

Forget the Saints, forget Hull FC, forget Wigan....this is the one that we've all been waiting for.

Coming just eight days before the Rhinos travel to Cardiff to take on Hull FC in the Challenge Cup Final, tonight sees the biggest game of the season...Leeds v. Bradford.

The Rhinos need to win to continue their march to the Minor Premiership, but the Bulls need the win to keep their hopes alive of a third place finish.

This one should be an absolute stonker of a game.

Tony Smith welcomes back Danny Ward and Jamie Jones-Buchanan to add a bit of bulk to the side, and the only first choice player still in the Rhinos treatment room is Willie Poching (who is still touch-and-go for the final). Scruton and Gibson are the two that make way in the eighteen, with Lee Smith likely to be the other player from last week who misses out on the final seventeen. This is one where we will need plenty of interchanges in the forwards.

Bradford are back at near full strength and are starting to turn on the style at the business end of the season. Only Reardon and Pratt are unavailable for selection, and with Harris and Deacon firing on all cylinders in last weeks 58-12 win over Salford, this is no 'gimme'.

Many Leeds fans will be interested in casting an eye over Bulls players who are rumoured to be turning Blue & Amber next season including; Peacock, Vainikolo and Fielden.

Three Bulls changing colour?

Big Les


Barries' Mate

The last time the Bulls visited Headingley was back on the 1st July when the Rhinos ran out as 36-26 winners. The previous visit saw the Bulls beat the Rhinos in the first semi-final of the play-off last season by 26-12, before we went on to beat them in the final at Old Trafford. Despite this play-off loss, the Rhinos remain unbeaten by the Bulls in the league since September 2003.

One major concern is whether the Rhinos have one eye on next weeks massive event in South Wales, or will they be fully focussed on winning tonights game. The Bulls only remaining concern for 2005 is finishing as high up the table as possible and securing at least one home game in the play-offs, they may well be more determined than we are. I think that we could be about to witness the game of the season, and I'm tipping a narrow Rhinos win. Prediction
Rhinos 28 24 Bulls

The bookies, who were spot on giving the Broncos twenty start last week, have gone for an eight point start for the visitors. I think that the Bulls will get inside this handicap, but I've got everything crossed that it will be by less than eight inside.

The weather forcasters are saying it will rain until tea-time and then brighten up for the game, so a bit of moisture on the pitch, but you should be alright to stand on the open terraces if you've not got a ticket for the sold out South Stand.

This is one of those nights that you really look forward to as a supporter, lets hope that the lads don't disappoint and that we launch our Cup Final build up week with a confidence boosting win.



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