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Rhinos to Tame the Wild Wolves?
Posted by southstander on March 11 2005 - 11:54:33

Rough 'n' Tough
Tonight sees the visit of the Warrington Wolves to Headingley, and the only question in the rugby league world seems to be 'how many will we beat them by?'.

The bookies have given the visitors a twenty-two point start on the coupon, and even the Wire supporters on their message board aren't looking forward to it.

But I'm not so sure, I have a bad feeling about this one!

Tony Smith has named the same eighteen as last week, but after his post-match comments on the conclusion of the Giants game, I expect Liam Botham to get the nod. The only question then is who drops out of the seventeen, and the smart money will be on either Wayne McDonald or Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

The Wolves, under the capable control of Paul Cullen, have started to feel the effects of early season injuries. Knocks picked up in last weeks narrow loss to the Saints (a game which was snatched from the Wolves grasp with just two seconds to go) mean that they will be without Logan Swann and Chris Leikvoll. Mark Hilton and Paul Wood do return, but Cullen claims he only has nineteen fit players from which to pick his seventeen.

Having said that, it will be our first chance to get a propper look at the 'new look' Warrington with an influx of players that the administration at the Halliwell-Jones hope will see them reach the play-offs. Players like Grose, Fa'afili, Kohe-Love and Martin Gleeson will compliment the Warrington stalwarts of Briers and Appo. This game isn't a 'gimme' as Saints will testify after last weeks battle.

Three Wolves to keep an eye on;


Brent
Grose

Henry
Fa'afili

Martin
Gleeson

It isn't going to be the nicest of nights for open rugby. The forecast is for wet, cold and windy weather making ball handling difficult and 'clipping the wings' of the Rhinos expansive play. The conditions will be a great leveller.

Southstander.com Prediction
Rhinos 36 28 Wolves

I've tipped the Rhinos for a narrow win, but in a high scoring game, as mistakes are likely to litter play. If Cullens men come with the right attitude, desperate to forget last weeks hellish loss, and they catch the Rhinos on a mediocre day, they could escape with the spoils.

The game isn't on SKY, so the only way to catch it is to get down to Headingley. Don't forget though, the SouthStand is all ticket!

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