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Pie Time We Beat The Warriors
Posted by southstander on May 11 2007 - 08:24:30

Crucial

It's just over a month since Keith Senior threw the ball in to touch and cost us a last-gasp 18-20 defeat at the hands of Brian Nobles Wigan Warriors.

For many Leeds supporters that was the worst night of the season so far but the lads have chance to make amends on saturday afternoon as the BBC broadcast the Carnegie Challenge Cup game of the round to the nation.

Will we be leaving Headingley wearing smiles this time?

We preview the game here...

I don't know about you but I'm still wearing a smile from last sunday nights win over the Bulls. Every time I think about it I have a little giggle at McNamara, Harris and Hoods expense. If it had been Salford, Warrington, Huddersfield or almost any other side then I'd have felt some empathy towards the team and supporters that had been unjustly robbed by a series of poor referteeing decisions, but as it was Bradford you can't help but chuckle. This is the side who lifted the Grand Final Trophy in a season where the breached the salary cap, a side who won the Challenge Cup in 2003 on the back of a shocking refereeing performance from Russell Smith, and the side who took Iestyn Harris to Odsal when he should have returned to Leeds. As all but the Bulls supporters acknowledge, it is poetic justice.

For the visit of the Warriors, still smarting from last weeks hammering by Saints in Cardiff, Tony Smith welcomes back Peacock, Bailey and Diskin to the twenty man squad, all of whom were missing last weekend. One very sad omission is SouthStanders.com's very own Ashley Gibson who is under the surgeons knife and unlikely to be seen again in 2007, all our thoughts are with him and wishing him a speedy recovery. Despite looking to suffer a bad knee injury in Cardiff, Ali Lauiti'iti is also expected to be available for selection.

Brian Noble has named the same twenty that he took to the Millennium Stadium. The squad in full is; Chris Ashton, Mark Calderwood, Phil Bailey, Pat Richards, Trent Barrett, Thomas Leuluai, Stuart Fielden, Mickey Higham, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Gareth Hock, Bryan Fletcher, Sean O'Loughlin, David Vaealiki, Shane Millard, Paul Prescott, Harrison Hansen, Darrell Goulding, Joel Tomkins, Liam Colbon and Eamon O'Carroll. Rhinos rejects Calderwood and Millard will both be raising their game against their old mates.

Three Warriors to watch;


Paleaasina

Fielden

Calders

Most recent form between these two sides tells that we are pretty evenly matched. The two point loss last month was preceeded by a two point loss, by the same scoreline, in August 2006, although we had won the Headingley clash earlier in the year by a more convincing 48-22.

These two sides have only met once in the Challenge Cup in the last decade, an amazing fact after you consider the Warriors dominance of the trophy in the previous decade, and on that occasion the Leeds 'Dirty Dozen' won by 28-18 after Barrie McDermott got sent off early in the game. That was a fantastic afternoon, if I remember rightly also in front of the BBC cameras, when we secured a fantastic victory against all the odds.

Since beating us, Wigan have won just two out of four with a shocking loss away at Huddersfield Giants, which has seen them lose ground on the top three and allow the chasing back to get closer. With three of our key players hopefully returning, I hope that we'll have too much for a Wigan side which still contains a lot of unfamiliar names.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 26 16 Warriors

The forecast is for showers to clear around lunchtime and start again in late afternoon. It is unlikely to be dry for the whole duration of the game which could make it more of a lottery.

The bookies have given Wigan an eight point start, the same as they did last month when the Wigan side came to visit. I'd hope that the Rhinos can beat that handicap, but fear it will be close.

Challenge Cup progress and ultimately glory demands your support, get yourself to Headingley and get behind the lads.

Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for a last minute Wildcats victory on Sunday!

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