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Knockout Time
Posted by southstander on September 22 2006 - 08:15:23

On the Road

It's just three weeks to the day that since the Rhinos regained their early season form and hammered the Warrington Wolves by 54-16. Tonight, the same opposition make the trip to Headingley in far different circumstances...this is knock-out rugby.

By ten o'clock, one of these two sides season will be over, while the other will move forward to next weeks knock-out with a renewed hope that they can make it to Old Trafford on October the 14th.

We preview the game here...

This is the first ever Superleague play-off meeting between the two sides, and whilst the Wolves supporters know that they will be up against it, they have beaten the Rhinos once this season and they will be praying for a repeat.

Tony Smith has added Chev Walker and Jamie Peacock to last weeks seventeen, with Danny Williams making way after stepping into the breach at the eleventh hour against the Catalans Dragons. Whilst Leeds are missing Mathers, Poching, and O'Neill, they are still at their stongest for many weeks. Danny McGuire came through last weeks 'test' and will be a key weapon in Smiths' armoury against Cullens men.

Our sister site Primrose & Blue lists the Warrington twenty as; Fa'afili, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Reardon, Briers, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Swann, Wainwright, M. Gleeson, Westwood, Wood, Barnett, Parker, Rauhihi, Pickersgill, Riley, Bridge, Harrison, and Penny. That is a side packed full of danger for an off-colour Rhinos, and Smith will have singled out Fa'afili, Martin Gleeson and Briers as the key men to keep quiet.

Three Wolves to watch;


Gleeson

Briers

Fa'afili

Warrington last beat us at home in Superleague VII with a victory by a single drop goal. Since then they have only beaten us twice (2 in 11); at the Halliwell Jones on the 10th September last season; and earlier this year as they trounced us 44-16 on a humiliating afternoon in the Warrington sunshine.

Tonight is cup knockout football and unpredictability is the watchword. It would be churlish to predict a big Rhinos win, and in all honesty, I think that it will be a very close call. Both sides should be playing as though this is their last game, although you have to think that the urgency will be far greater for the visiting side.

The Rhinos have made the play-offs every year since they were introduced in 1998 and after back-to-back Grand Final appearances the expectation is on their shoulders.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 24 20 Wolves

The forecast is for rain for most of the day, and a high likelihood at that. I'm hoping that I can get myself into the South Stand tonight, as I have so far been unable to get through to the ticket office.

Now I'm starting to get a bit nervous, fingers crossed that we'll be celebrating at later on.

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