The Rhinos welcome back Ali Lauiti'iti and Ryan Bailey from injury, along with Brent Webb from his trip down-under for the Anzac Test and Eric Anselme who was cup tied last weekend. All of a sudden the squad has a far sturdier look about it, not that the youngsters have let us down in recent weeks. The one youngster I would expect to get more game time is Luke Burgess but he misses out on the nineteen after injury forced him to miss the cup game. The nineteen is; Ablett, Anselme, Bailey, Leuluai, Burrow, Diskin, Donald, Ellis, Hall, Lauitiiti, McGuire, Peacock, Scruton, Senior, Sinfield, Smith, Tansey, Webb, and Worrall. I would expect that Worrall and either Tansey or Ablett will be the two to miss out.
John Kear will be looking nervously at the players returning for Leeds and wonder if his Wildcats can compete with the side who are setting the pace in 2008. His nineteen of; Blaymire, Blanch, Martin, Atkins, Rooney, Brough, Drew, Sculthorpe, MacGillivray, Obst, Bibey, Wilkes, Gleeson, Leo-Latu, Grix, Golden, Moore, Bibb, and Dale does have experience and talent, but is there enough of both?
Adam Watene missed out after picking up an injury in last weeks cup win over Barrow and joins Reilly, Ferres, Demetriou, Ferguson, George and Henderson in the Wildcats treatment room. No Superleague side has escaped this seasons injury ravages.
Three 'Cats to watch;
The Wildcats haven't lost a game since late March, winning the last six on the bounce, beating Wolves, Giants, Reds, 'Quins, Tigers and Barrow. The last game that they lost was a close 8-4 away to Wigan.
The Rhinos easily won the Round 2 encounter at Belle Vue in Superleague XIII, thanks to two tries each from Diskin and Donald. The two meetings at Headinley last season saw a surprise Wildcats win in July by 23-16 but a comfortable Rhinos victory by 46-04 in September.
I think that the Wildcats good recent run will come to an end at Headingley tonight as the Rhinos return to Superleague action after last weeks cup outing. The players returning bring strength and rigidity to the side and should be too much for our neighbours from down the road.
The bookies are likely to give the visitors a 14 to 16 point start and I believe that we'll cover that, but it could be close.
The forecast is for a dry and warmish night, getting a little chillier towards the end of the game.
There should be a large crowd and therefore it should be a great atmosphere, escpecially as it has been nearly a month since we last graced the Headingley turf. Enjoy the game!
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