Kylie Leuleui is back in contention after recovering from the flu that kept him out of last weeks easy victory over the Wildcats. Apart from the McClennan has named an unchanged side to face our French visitors. Ryan Hall, who had a suspected fractured cheekbone playing for the Academy last Friday, was given the all clear and makes the twenty, along with Luke Burgess. I think that Hall and Burgess will probably be joined by Nick Scruton in missing out on the seventeen but there is every chance that Bluey will rest one or more of his key players ahead of the big one in a weeks time.
Mick Potter must be frustrated by the lack of recruitment that he has been able to undertake over the close season, but his charges seem to heve been boxing above their weight in the opening couple of games this season. A great opening day win at Castleford was followed by last weeks narrow loss to Hull KR. The only newcomer for the Catalan Dragons is Dane Carlaw a second rower signed from Brisbane Broncos. One good sign is that over half of the twenty-man named squad are of French birth, Superleagues pioneers are making moves in the right direction.
Three Dragons to watch;
The last time that the Dragons came to Headingley they were on the receiving end of a 54-8 beating, a game in which Brent Webb got a hat-trick and Kevin Sinfield a brace. Earlier in the year though we'd lost in France, a result which no-one saw coming.
In 2006 Leeds also thrashed the Dragons at Headingley that time by 60-12 thanks to a Tansey hat-trick. The Dragons have never won at Headingley and having leaked a total of 114 points on their only two previous visits they really won't be looking forward to this one.
There can only really be one winner in this one, unless the Rhinos players take their eye off the ball an fix it on next weeks massive clash at Elland Road. Any player preferring self-preservation on Friday night, rather than full-blooded onslaught could well find themselves missing out on the big one, Bluey won't appreciate half-heartedness.
Work commitments have forced an early preview and at the moment the odds aren't up. I'd expect a big handicap against Leeds, perhaps -16 to -18.
The forecast is for it to be mild and a little bit windy, at least this weeks cold snap seems to have passed and the temperature will be above freezing for the duration of the game.
We need the boost of another win, the fourth competitive victory on the trot, ahead of next weeks game against Melbourne Storm. Everything crossed for another special Rhinos performance to send the mincing Dragon back home with his tail between his legs.
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