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Stuffed Birds or Stuffed Rhino?
Posted by southstander on May 12 2006 - 10:04:52

Stuffed?

Hull FC visit Headingley on the back of five consecutive wins and under the new management of Peter Sharp. Leeds, on the other hand, look slap bang in the middle of a mid-season blip.

A narrow win last week, in a lacklustre performance, did little to raise players or fans confidence. Tonight will be a massive test for the Rhinos and despite the bookies odds to the contrary, I'd make the visitors the favourites.

We preview the game here...

Tony Smith has recalled Ryan Bailey and Ali Lauiti'iti to the squad and I understand that Walker will move back into the centres in place of an injured Ashley Gibson. Kirke and Feather, who had both been named in the initial twenty, will play for the Senior Academy in the 5:45 curtain raiser.Ali and Ryan should add some of the steel that we were missing in defence last weekend, and hopefully they will both feel that they have a big point to prove to Tony Smith after being dropped last week. Carl Ablett will be eighteenth man.

Sharp will be without the once Leeds-bound Paul King for tonights match, however, he does recall Sid Domic after injury and will give a run out to Graeme Horne. Back rower Chris Chester misses out, but Leeds will have their hands full with Raynor, Horne and Cooke.

Three Airlie Birds to watch;


Briscoe

Cooke

Raynor

The Rhinos won the first game between the side in 2006 with a narrow 34-26 win at the KC Stadium. Trailing by 20-12 at half-time, the game saw a brilliant Danny McGuire inspired fightback for the Rhinos to snatch the points. If we let the visitors grab a lead like that tonight, I think we may struggle to turn the game around.

Last weekends results went better than we could have hoped with the Giants win over Saints allowing us to make some ground on them, whilst Braford slipped up allowing us to leave them trailing further behind. At the end of the weekend we'll be no worse or better than our current second, but a loss will mean that we look a lot less secure in it.

I really don't fancy us tonight so I am going to tip against us. This is something that I rarely do, and often when I have, the lads prove to me what a fool I am. I just hope that this is one of those occasions and the lads have a cracker?

SouthStander.com Prediction
Rhinos 16 20 Hull FC

It's bad news on the weather front with the rain due to start around lunchtime and show no signs of letting up until after the full time hooter. Temperatures are also likely to drop so spring may yet beging to look like winter before the day is out.

The bookies have given the visitors a ten point start on the handicapping which as I have said above looks a little harsh. I'd definitely be taking Hull with that start.

There is just a short time left to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.

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