Last weeks loss was the first time that we've lost two in a row since back in August 2006. Towards the end of last season we went on to lose five games back to back (Cas, Saints, Giants (cup), Hull FC and Wigan), lets hope that isn't a history that is going to be repeated. Tony Smith echoed the sentiments of the masses last week when he said that we simply weren't good enough but with the same twenty named, including Diskin with an outside chance of making the seventeen, you have to wonder why this week is going to be any different.
Hopefully he sent them all home with a football to hold and get used to how it feels not to drop it in the tackle! All training this week should have been focussed on how on earth we get over the try line when we're camped within their twenty, the Rhinos achilles heel so far this year.
Hull KR will be on a high after a sensational win at the JJB last week. Justin Morgans side took an early lead and held on for a 12-10 win to crush Nobles men who had only the previous week put up an heroic effort to keep us at bay in the Challenge Cup. KR are currently tenth in Superleague, the same position that their neighbours shared before beating us last week, and confounding the critics who had them as cast-iron certs for the drop.
Morgan has named his twenty as; Cockayne, Hardman, Dyer, Goddard, Ford, Cooke, Webster, Tandy, Vella, Fisher, J Netherton, O'Neill, Gene, Gannon, Tangata-Toa, Aizue, Murrell, Chester, Ward, and Lennon. It is a squad with four ex-Rhinos, all with a point to prove, and several players who have caused us heartache in the past such as Cooke and Gene.
Two Ex-Rhinos and a 'Hull FC Judas' to watch;
Prior to this season the last time that Leeds lost to the Robins was on the 22nd February 1987, over twenty years ago, when we travelled to Humberside and were on the wrong side of a 10-6 scoreline. What we need to hope is that a twenty year gap between losses isn't replaced by a three month one.
KR are going into sunday afternoons game on the back of two consecutive wins, having taken the scalps of Wigan and Hull FC in the last fortnight. It was the Robins second win over Wigan this season, a notable scalp in spite of the current coaching rumours coming out of the Warrios camp, and they will be looking to double up on sunday with a double-double. We'll need to play a hell of a lot better than last week.
That said, we've got to hit the straps again sometime, and why not on sunday. The lads will be massively determined after the last fortnight but hopefully that won't translate to nervousness on the pitch as we try to force a win rather than play for one. I still think that we'll upset the handicappers and get a decent win...but I've been wrong two weeks on the bounce.
Tickets have sold fast for the fixture and I understand that the south stand is now to be opened allowing Leeds fans to save a bit of money and be able to stand and watch the game. There should be plenty of pay-on-the-day although the Robins are advising advance ticket purchase. It should be a good atmosphere.
The forecast is for wind and rain, so it is probably not going to be too pleasant as all Rhinos supporters will be open to the elements. Perhaps a brolly is a good idea!
The bookies are giving the home side an eight point start. two less than last time we played them. I think that Leeds can, and should bust that handicap, but you never know. I'll be keeping my money in my pocket.
There are just a few more hours to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.
Enjoy the game and have a safe trip.