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Leeds to Compound Wigan Misery
Posted by southstander on July 12 2007 - 09:26:43

8 Points Away?

The eyes of the rugby league world will today focus on Red Hall and contemplate whether the games administrators have the 'cojones' to hand down a decisive penalty to the repeat salary cap offenders.

While the slaray cap breach hearing takes centre stage, the side plot is the small matter of a Wigan - Leeds match up, with the top of the table spot being there for the taking for the away side in tonights 7:45 kick-off.

We preview the game here...

Leeds will undoubtedly miss Matt Diskin who has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after breaking his hand in the magnificent win over St. Helens just six short days ago. We go into tonights game without an established hooker and with Sinfield, Burrow or possibly Tansey likely to fill the role. Ian Kirke has been retained in the eighteen after breaking his nose last week, but may well be the one to make way for the long awaited return of Nick Scruton. Ryan Hall will get another game after impressing at Saints and Lee Smith will find it difficult to regain his spot once he regains his fitness.

Rhinos supporters will have been somewhat surprised, and probably a little annoyed, to have heard Chev Walkers name linked strongly with a move to the JJB this week. Fortunately, he won't be there for tonights game, and Noble has named his eighteen man squad as; Ashton, Calderwood, Bailey, Richards, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hock, Fletcher, O'Loughlin, Vaealiki, Prescott, Hansen, Goulding, Colbon and McIlorum.

Ex-Rhino Shane Millard was omitted from the original twenty but with the strength and skill on show, Noble and the Warriors supporters must be disappointed that they are currently eight points behind the Rhinos in the league table. If todays hearing goes as has been strongly rumoured, then Wigan could fall foul of an eight point deduction, plunging them to just above the foot of the table.

Three Warriors to watch;


Paleaasina

Fielden

Calders

Our record in 2007 against the Warriors is abysmal, with a two point loss back in Superleague in April and that humiliating cup defeat in May, both at Headingley. We do, however, have a better record at the JJB. We have won two out of the last three visits there with our best recent victory being back in 2005.

We're flying high after last week, but so are Wigan after beating fellow salary cheats, Bradford Bulls, at the JJB last week. Both side had tough games, and both have had just six short days to recover. If you'd asked me before the Saints game about this one then I would have been fairly pessimistic, as it is I think we can double up and take the two to go top (at least until tomorrow night).

Southstander.com Prediction
Warriors 14 26 Rhinos

I'm still not sure why we are playing this game on a thursday night, and it does feel a little awkward, but hopefully last weeks herculean effort will swell the travelling ranks that battle the Wigan rush hour traffic to support the lads.

The forecast decent enough, but what does it matter to us when we are under cover. The pitch may be a little greasy for the lads but the rain should stay away during the game.

The bookies can't call this one and have the sides playing off scratch. Not often that you get a game without a handicap. SKY must be rubbing their hands in the hope of a belter and they will have plenty to discuss in light of todays salary cap deliberations.

Don't forget to get your predictions in, have a safe journey, and sing your hearts out for the lads.

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