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Banana Skin on the Road to the Minor Prem
Posted by southstander on August 17 2007 - 09:48:05


With back-to-back fifty pointers, and being at home against a side battling against relegation, tonights game against Hull KR should be a formality.

We've all learnt this season that you can't take anything for granted. With Hull KR already having beaten us this season, and with Rhinos players dropping like flies, tonights match is far from predictable.

Will the Rhinos continue their great recent form, or will the Robins bring us back down to earth?

We preview the game here...

After just over quarter of an hour of his much awaited comeback, Nick Scruton suffered a multiple fracture of his hand which will keep him out until next season. Rob Burrow has not recovered from his rib injury sustained in the 'Quins game but Ryan Bailey returns and Matt Diskin will play again after showing up well in his return last week against Salford.

Tony Smith drops Mike Ratu from the eighteen and has brought Carl Ablett back. I'd expect Lee Smith to finally get his recall into the seventeen, probably at full back for the still suspended Webb. Ryan Hall is likely to get a further game in the first seventeen and it could well be either Tansey or Ablett that miss out.

Justin Morgans Hull KR are probably two points from absolute safety (given the Salford Run-in) and he names a strong eighteen sprinkled with ex-Rhinos first teamers. The eighteen is; Aizue, Webster, Bauer, Cooke, Fisher, Chester, Vella, O'Neill, Dyer, Goddard, Hardman, Ward, Lennon, Netherton, Lovegrove, Tandy, Murrell, Gannon. It has been a season of survival for the Robins, and they are now within touching distance, lets hope that we can keep their concern going for a week longer.

Three Ex-Rhinos to watch;




Two away games so far this season against KR. There was that horrendous 22-20 loss back in March followed by the 18-10 win in atrocious weather in late May. If it hadn't been for that slip-up we'd have been in the driving seat for the Minor Premiership, rather than hoping for a Saints slip-up at Salford tonight.

Home fixtures against Hull KR are few and far between. The last time they visited us at Headingley was when we tonked them 44-4 in the fifth round of the cup back in 2002. Before that you have top go back another ten years to find another match, again a Leeds win. It is over twenty years since we have lost a home game against tonights visitors, sounds familiar to last week!

Leeds are currently on an up and a narrowing of the points difference to the Saints would be most welcome tonight. Leeds aggregate in the last two games is 106-34. Another plus sixty would do us the world of good. KR have won two out of their last four, running the Bulls close a fortnight ago. They have, however, been hammered by Warrington and that's the kind of result we want. Prediction
Rhinos 42 12 Hull KR

The forecast is okay but there is a chance of some rain coming in towards the end of the match. It won't, however, be that warm.

The bookies are giving the visitors a twenty-four point start which shows the way that they see this game going. I reckon that if we play the fluid football that we have over previous weeks then we can beat that handicap, and hopefully add a fair bit more.

There are just a few more hours to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.



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