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Can Leeds Repel the Warriors?
Posted by southstander on April 10 2007 - 08:29:12

Trouble Ahead

After thursday nights Odsal 'Smash and Grab' we need to keep the momentum going tonight against Brian Nobles' Wigan Warriors.

Easter Mondays results saw us knocked off the top of the table, and into third behind Saints and the Bulls, but a win, or a draw (don't count it out, it has happened before), will see us back on top of the pile.

The lads have had just five days to recover from thursdays bruising encounter, but the Warriors have had a day less since their Good Friday hammering by the Saints.

We preview the game here...

It's no change for the Rhinos as the same seventeen that overcame Bradford in Thursdays thriller are likely to be the same seventeen that take the field tonight. Ian Kirke is the current addition and may get a game ahead of LeuLeui who still doesn't look the finished article, but I'd expect Tony Smith to keep the faith. While last weeks game showed that the Rhinos are far from firing on all cylinders, it was great to see that we could hold in there when the going got tough and have the stamina and belief to come from behind and pinch it at the death.

Brain Noble, so often the thorn in the Rhinos side, has also named the same seventeen that lost to Saints on friday. His eighteen man squad is; Ashton, Calderwood, Bailey, Withers, Richards, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hock, Fletcher, O'Loughlin, Vaealiki, Millard, Prescott, Hansen, and O'Carroll. There is some money invested in that side, but once again this season they don't appear to be clicking.

Calderwood and Millard will have points to prove, but neither appear totally happy at the JJB. There is no doubting that Barrett, Fielden, O'Loughlin and Paleaasina are all world class, but on paper the Rhinos appear to have more strength throughout the squad.

Three Warriors to watch;




The last time that the sides met was back in August 2006 when the Rhinos capitulated 18-20 at Headingley to a struggling Warriors side. Two months earlier we'd won 48-22 and we beat the Warriors 24-16 at the JJB at the start of the season. What most Rhinos fdans will be praying for is the same domination that we showed in that sensational 70-00 victory back in June 2005. That was one hell of a night to remember. Prediction
Rhinos 32 16 Warriors

It feels very strange playing on a tuesday night, but hopefully that won't stop the faithful turning up. It would be nice to think that we could top 20k for such a fixture but I'd expect a couple of thousand less. Thursday nights expoits should add some to the gate.

The forecast is for cloud clearing by lunchtime with a clear and fairly warm evening. No reason there for you to not be at Headingley.

The bookies have given Wigan an eight point start, but I'd hope that the Rhinos can beat that handicap tonight. After my nice big win on Scottie Donald as first try scorer on thursday I'll be putting my 50p on him again tonight at 12/1, having said that JP is due a try soon and at 33/1 he'd be worth an outside bet.

Get yourself to Headingley and cheer the lads back to the top of the league.



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