OPPOSITION CORNER: Grand Final regulars revving their engines at right time (From Warrington Guardian)
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OPPOSITION CORNER: Grand Final regulars revving their engines at right time
7:00am Saturday 14th September 2013 in Wolves news
LEEDS Rhinos have this stage of the season down to a fine art.
In the past few years they have been happy to cruise through the regular season under the radar, allowing Wigan and Wolves to soak up all the discussion and interest before sriking with superb timing for the Super League trophy at Old Trafford.
This year looks no different, as the defending champions fielded a close to fully fit squad when comfortably beating Challenge cup winners Wigan Warriors 20-6 in their own back yard last week.
That was Rhinos’ sixth win in seven games and their performance was good enough to indicate that Brian McDermott’s men fancy themselves for a third consecutive Grand Final victory.
Welcoming experienced pack members Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Brett Delaney back into the fold following long-term injuries, Leeds were able to field their best players in their favoured positions for the first time in weeks.
It showed, as Rob Burrow returned at hooker, while the tried and trusted combination of Kevin Sinfield and Danny McGuire pulled the strings in the middle of the park as Rhinos’ formidable back line were at full strength.
Wolves won their last home match against Leeds 19-18, an indication that Saturday’s match is likely to be equally tight.
But Leeds were arguably fielding a weaker side that day – missing McGuire, Delaney and Jones-Buchanan – so Wolves will have to show every ounce of the determination and dogged defence they demonstrated in France.
What is certain is that they cannot afford to rack up a similar penalty count to that in Perpignan, as Leeds have the weapons to wreak havoc should Wolves gift them easy field position and cheap possession.
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