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Willie, Won't He?
Posted by southstander on January 28 2005 - 12:08:24

Willie, Won't he?
We're just a week away from Leeds biggest international game ever, the World Club Challenge match at Elland Road against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Despite speculation in the Australian press that the Bulldogs are sending a 'weakened' side, around 29,000 tickets have already been sold by the Headingley Ticket Office, Superleague and the RFL. There has been a waiting list for corporate boxes since just after the date and venue were announced.

But could the Aussies be playing mind games, Tony Smith thinks so!

At the WCC press day, Tony Smith said that he expected the Bulldogs to 'spring some surprises' in terms of team selection, and as the Aussies get on the plane this morning, it would have been interesting to see which players make the longest trip.

The Bulldogs are reported to be travelling without Andrew Ryan, Brett Sherwin, Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley, Ben Harris and Matthew Utai, but are still bringing a squad which is stronger than most sides we'd face in Superleague. Reading between the lines of Tony's statement, it looks like he is expecting that some of these 'injured' players will make the trip, and could figure prominently.

Many people have written off the 'bread stealers' without waiting to see their starting line-up, but it would be a brave or foolish man to forcast anything but a close and hard fought game. One thing is for sure, they are not coming to Leeds for a ten day drinking break, they will want to return with honour and the silverware.

From our own perspective, the injury to McGuire is not a serious as feared and I understand that he is only a 'minor' doubt for the Challenge game. For the first time in a number of years an Aussie, Sean Hampstead, takes charge of the match... at least it will be a new name to hurl abuse at!

There are around nine thousand tickets left, so hurry if you haven't got yours yet. It would be great if these sold out and we had a full house to witness the battle between the best two sides in the world. I can't wait!

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