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Tony's Team Turmoil
Posted by southstander on August 24 2005 - 09:11:21

The Key

I couldn't help but chuckle at a comment I read on the messageboard this morning from 'Jogger' which stated;

Right now I believe Tony Smith's biggest concern is whether his chinos will go with the cup final jacket.

While I believe that Tony would like the rugby league world to believe that this is his biggest concern, my expectation is that he is barely sleeping as he spends hour after hour deciding which of his superstars will figure in the Rhinos push for Challenge Cup glory.

We speculate on his team selection.

To begin with we'd better make an assumption that Keith and Willie will both join Danny McGuire in being declared fit for saturdays massive game against Hull FC. Keiths injury looked like a shocker, but he's apparently running on it, and I'd guess that Willie will be pulling out all the stops to figure in the game.

The first team line-up is based on your voting over the season so far in the 'Player of the Season'. We've taken the top thirteen players from that chart for the starting line-up, and the next four for the subs bench. With a little bit of re-jigging into best or favoured positions, that gives us;


This line-up is obviously skewed by the number of performances during the season, with Diskin and McGuire dropping to the bench by virtue of the fact that they have both missed lost of games. Having said that, I don't think that this will be too far away from the actual seventeen, perhaps with some movement between bench and run-on side.

If it was my decision; I'd start with Diskin at hooker with Dunners on the bench. Ward would get a start at 10 with JJB in for Ali in the second row. The bench would consist of Dunners, McGuire, Ali and Barrie, with Willie being the one to miss out on the seventeen.

All this could, of course be academic if Keith and Willie are not fit, in that case I'd expect to see McKenna in the centres with Ward and possibly Scruton or Gibson joining the above squad.

It will be fascinating to see which side Tony does name later in the week, but whatever happens we should be well equipped for the task.



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