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Easy Team Selection for Smith?
Posted by southstander on October 12 2005 - 05:58:03

Out on Top

Saturday night will be a special night for all involved, but it will be particularly memorable for the Rhinos players who will play their last game in Blue & Amber.

Barrie McDermott is going out at the top, and will be determined to add to last years Grand Final ring. After announcing his retirement earlier this year he told me 'I was jealous of Furner last year, to finish your career with a Grand Final win is the best you can hope for', now Barrie gets his big chance as Tony Smith has indicated that Barrie will get a position in the run-on thirteen.

A handful of other players will also see Old Trafford as the final curtain for their Rhinos career as they move on to new pastures. Calderwood, McKenna, Bai and Dunemann will also want to make sure that they leave Headingley with that most valuable band of gold on their fingers.

With Keith Senior definitely ruled out of the match, a foregone conclusion after the Challenge Cup team selection horror, I expect that Tony Smith will call on the same seventeen that appeared revitalised and 'did the business' against the Saints a fortnight ago. Some minor shuffling, to allow McDermott into the run-on side would give us the following side;

1Mathers
2Calderwood
3McKenna
4Walker
5Bai
6McGuire
7Burrow
8Bailey
9Dunemann
10McDermott
11Poching
12Ellis
13Sinfield
14Jones-Buchanan
15Lauiti'iti
16Ward
17Diskin

I believe that this is the strongest side that we've got fit and one which can beat a full strength Bradford side as long as we show our best form. Leeds are currently 2-1 ahead in wins this season, but the Bulls are coming into the game off the back of eleven straight wins. But just like last years final, this one is too close to call.

More build-up throughout the rest of the week.

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