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Ten Points from Top
Posted by southstander on June 23 2006 - 10:13:17

Suck it and See

A ten point win against an unpredictable Wakefield Trinity Wildcats side will be enough to sent the Rhinos back to the top of Superleague XI, albeit only until the Saints take on Salford on saturday night.

Tony Smith, now fully back in charge after his recent hospitalisation, will be without the injured Matt Diskin and decides to rest Jamie Peacock and Nick Scruton.

The 'Cats are on the crest of a wave after their dramatic win over the 'freefalling' Wolves last week and will be hopeful of another two points for their own relegation war chest. It could be a belter.

Leeds' Tony Smith is without the injured Matt Diskin who had minor knee surgery this week and will be out for up to three weeks. Jamie Peacock is 'not 100%' and with the XXXX Test next tuesday and the game against the Giants next weekend, the decision has been made to rest him. Nick Scruton also gets a weeks breather. In for the Rhinos are Mark O'Neill, back from his latest injury, with the remaining spots in the eighteen taken by Ablett and our man Gibson, rewarded for a fantastic thirty-eight point haul for the U21's last week. I expect Ash to get the nod but it may well be at the expense of a regular first teamer (also to be rested).

Wakefields version of Tony Smith will be on the crest of a wave after last weeks single point victory at the Halliwell Jones. Wakefield 18-man squad is: Halpenny, Demetriou, Tadulala, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Solomona, J.Field, Betham, White, Rooney, MacGillivray, Henderson, Catic, Saxton, Atkins, and Watene. It looks a pretty tasty line-up and it is a shock that the 'Cats are still the closest side to the Wigan sights as they try to buy their way out of trouble by busting this seasons salary cap in the hope of getting punished with a points deduction next season.

This is the first time that the Rhinos and Wildcats have met this season, despite this being Round eighteen, but all Wildcats supporters will still be grinning from their first visit to Headingley last year which saw them leave with a convincing 44-28 win. That said, Leeds have won seven out of nine Superleague meetings between the sides at Headingley, and fifteen out of the seventeen Superleague clashes.

Three 'Cats to watch;


Semi
Tadulala

Roonaldo
Rooney

Korki
Korkidas

It's now six weeks since we last got beaten, but last weeks 'at the death' victory at The Willows was a stark reminder of our potential frailty. The risk is that a Wakefield side who are fighting for their lives, and aware of Wigans liberal use of the cheque book to buy their way out of trouble, will turn the tables on us and want it too much. That said, and even without JP and Diskin, I still think that we have enough quality to easily get past the visitors.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 36 12 Wildcats

Todays forecast for LS6 looks pretty pleasant with little threat of rain and temperatures in the mid-teens. It should be great conditions for rugby, and with the pitch recovering nicely from its winter abuse at the hands of the 'kick and clappers' we should be in for a fast and skillful game.

The bookies have given the visitors an eighteen point start, and I think that they will need it all, and possibly a little bit more. For a little more interest, what about backing a Wildcats old boy to score the opener with Ellis at 20/1, Poching at 25/1 and Chris Feather at a massive 50/1.

There are just a few more hours to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.

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