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1st, 2nd, 3rd....or 4th?
Posted by southstander on July 25 2006 - 07:00:54

With just six rounds of Superleague XI remaining, the race for the minor premiership is all but over. After the narrow defeat to the Saints on saturday evening, the Rhinos need to win all of their remaining games, including the away game at Knowsley Road, and hope that St. Helens slip up in at least two other matches.

What is now far more interesting is the question of whether we'll manage to hold on to second spot and keep at bay the challenge of Hull and Bradford. Second spot gets us 'two bites at the cherry' whereas third and it is knockout football all the way.

We speculate here...

With Warrington being six points behind Bradford, and ten behind ourselves and Hull FC you can realistically count them out of a top four finish. Bradford are obviously outsiders to make second, but it is a real dogfight between ourselves and Hull which will twist and turn for the rest of the season.

I think that Saints will win five out of their remaining six, with a loss away at Warrington in the last round (when Anderson will put out a team of youngsters in the traditional Saints manner) being the only blemish on their run-in. This means that they will get wins over; Giants (H), Tigers (A), Dragons (A), Wildcats (H), and the Rhinos (H). They will finish on forty-eight points, and have the 'hubcap' in the trophy cabinet after the Wakefield game in round 26.

Hull FC will, I believe, lose two of their remaining fixtures. A loss against the Rhinos in round 23, and a last day loss away at Wigan will mean that wins against; Giants (A), Reds (H), Dragons (H) and Wolves (A) will leave them on forty points, eight behind the minor premiers.

The BUlls have been hit and miss all season but seem to be starting to gel again. I think that they will win five out of six of their remaining fixtures with a loss away at Wigan in round 26 being their only loss of the run in. They will beat; Wolves (H), 'Quins (A), Tigers (A), Wildcats (H) and Giants (A). This will see them finish the season on thirty-eight points, two behind Hull FC.

Now for the Rhinos. I've already said that I think we'll beat the codheads (we've never lost at the KC Stadium) and we'll then go on to beat; Warriors (H), Wildcats (A), and the Wolves (H). A loss away to the Saints in round 27 will be followed by a home win against the Dragons in the last round, leaving us with forty-two points and a second spot finish.

It's all in the 'ifs and buts' but I think that we can still scrape second. The pivotal game is the next Superleague round away at the KC Stadium, a win there and we should make the all important top two, a loss and it will be a massive and nervous struggle.

But your ticket now and get across to the KC a week on friday. The lads will need your support.

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