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Can We Still Get Second?
Posted by southstander on September 06 2006 - 09:43:10

Can We Catch the Bird?

After last weekends comprehensive demolition of Warrington Wolves, and the Bulls capitulation at the JJB, we are now six points clear of our local neighbours and secure in fifth place.

This entitles us to two home games in the play-offs, provided that we win the first, but then means that we will have to travel to either St. Helens or the KC Stadium for the Final Eliminator. What we really need is to finish second and get a home Final Eliminator game, and there is the slightest of chances that we may manage it.

We look at our chances.

There are two round left in Superleague XI and we have four points to make up on the Airlie Birds. This means that they have to lose both of their games while we win ours. Our points difference is +314 compared to Hull FC's +176 meaning that finishing level on game points will be enough to get us that all important second.

If we look at the very last round first. The Rhinos entertain the Catalans Dragons at Headingley in what you would expect to be a straightforward victory which will probably condemn the relegation-immune French side to finish at the bottom of the pile. At the same time, Hull FC have to travel to the JJB to take on a Wigan side who may still have an outside chance of making the play-offs. This could well be a win for Nobles re-vitalised side.

It may well all be over by then. This weekend the Rhinos have to travel to Knowsley Road to take on Minor Premiers St. Helens, while Hull FC go to the Halliwell-Jones to play last weeks Headingley victims the Warrington Wolves. With Saints now having one-eye on the play-offs, and with a chance that they may announce a weakened squad later today, there is the chance that we may get the two points that we need to keep our side of the bargain. We will be keen to show that the excellent form that we re-discovered last week was not a 'flash in the pan' and to show that we have a side that can compete with the Minor Premiers should we meet again in the play-offs. Saints, on the other hand, have little to prove and little to gain. This could well be a third consecutive September away win against 'The Entertainers'.

Over in Warrington we will be relying on the fact that the Wolves still need a win to cement their play-off place, and that Paul Cullen is desperate for a morale boosting victory against one of their potential play-off opponents. Ironically if they do manage a win over Hull they could be playing a major part in arranging themselves a first play-off game at the KC Stadium.

In reality I think that although we have a very good chance of picking up our pour points, Hull FC will get a win at Warrington and secure themselves second place. I think that we'll have to beat Warrington and Bradford at Headingley, and then take Hull FC at the KC to make it to Old Trafford. The only rays of hope are last weeks great performance against Warrington, and that Bradford peaked at the right time and won it from third place last season.

Keep everything crossed from here on in!

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