Leeds Rhinos: Rested Rhinos should maintain Headingley hoodoo over Hull

Luckless 'Jordan Lilley has been loaned out - again - by Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Steve Riding
Luckless 'Jordan Lilley has been loaned out - again - by Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Steve Riding
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Leeds Rhinos fans appear to be approaching tonight’s Super League encounter with visitors Hull FC with a degree of caution.

Thinking is split on whether last week’s postponed game with Catalans Dragons will or will not work in Rhinos’ favour. Will Hull be ‘battle hardened’ or will Leeds be fresh and raring to go? Rhinos’ injury problems have also had an extra week to help resolve some of the issues.

Hull FC will be without suspended forward Liam Watts for the trip to Headingley.

Hull FC will be without suspended forward Liam Watts for the trip to Headingley.

GRAHAM POULTER

The postponement of the Catalans game couldn’t have come at a better time for Leeds.

It was a good chance for the players to rest up and recover and an opportunity for the players who were injured to make the squad for tonight’s game. I can imagine that training outside would have been limited due to the Beast from the East and, talking of the east, we welcome the beast from East Yorkshire, namely Hull FC, to Emerald Headingley tonight.

I feel confident we can get back to winning ways, though Hull are on a high after their win over Warrington. One plus for us is that Hull will be without the suspended Liam Watts following his brain explosion in the game against Warrington.

Keith Galloway. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Keith Galloway. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Hull don’t have a good record at Headingley, but our defence needs to be strong to negate the threat posed in the centres and wings and to snuff out Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd.

We have enough talent to cause them more than enough problems, we just need to be more clinical in converting the chances we create, certainly a lot more than we have shown so far in the previous four games we have played.

MATT FOWLER

Home comforts and warmer weather are the order of the day after last week’s Beast from the East wiped out most of Super League.

The season has been very stop-start for everyone and it feels like it has yet to really ignite. St Helens have looked the most impressive with the rest showing only glimpses of what they are capable of achieving.

Until the weather improves and the playing fields begin to dry out most teams’ true colours have yet to show, certainly on attack.

One thing, which is always a foundation for any winning team is the defence. Leeds seem to have carried on from last year regarding defence, which is a good sign. A willingness to scramble in defence and cover for any mistakes should never be underestimated.

Hull will be a stern test. They look to be in good shape so early in the season and have the potential to win silverware again this year so this should be a good game.

The extra rest may help us out on the injury front but either way I expect a close contest.

Enjoy the game.

IAN SHARP

With the Beast from the East curtailing the opening game at HQ last week, we have yet to fully start our home campaign this year.

I was so excited to be getting back in the South Stand and seeing how the stadium is progressing.

From the pictures it looks like it’s going to be one of the most prestigious stadiums in the rugby league world, once it’s all finished.

Catalans would have been the perfect team to play too.

They are winless in four games and they never travel well and with our stuttering start to the season and injuries we could not have picked a better side to play.

Hull are up next tonight. I have never been a fan of these Thursday-night games, to be honest.

Travelling to away games is hard for fans at the best of times – and this is on a ‘school night’!

The Airlie Birds have not won in 12 visits to Emerald Headingley and with Liam Watts out with a ban he will be a big miss for them.

Fingers crossed the weather stays fine and we can get back to our spiritual home this week.

CHRISTINE KIDD

It’s difficult to assess how Leeds Rhinos are doing this season.

We have played only three Super League games and have yet to come up against one of the top-four teams from last season.

An extra week may mean that we have more players to choose from as there were quite a few players on the injury list after the Widnes game.

The game today against Hull FC will be a big challenge as they look a good team again this season.

A win this week is important as a loss could see us go farther down the table.

I don’t know what Jordan Lilley has to do to get a game at Leeds.

It was ironic that he was in the squad last week but then the game was postponed. He will have to wait a bit longer to play his first game this season.

All the best to Keith Galloway after his retirement from professional rugby league.

It wasn’t a complete surprise after his second lengthy lay-off in two seasons.

He looked good when he was on the field but that didn’t happen often enough.

DIANNE HALL

The postponement of Friday’s game could be a blessing in disguise.

It gave our injured players an extra week to recover and prepare for tonight’s visit of Hull FC. The only drawback I can see is if the Catalans game is re-arranged for the international break they could be stronger than us, due to us missing players on international duty.

I was sad to hear that Keith Galloway has decided to leave the Rhinos.

I don’t think we saw the best of him with his injuries. On behalf of all the fans, I wish him and his family all the best for the future.

Who would replace him? I am sure that Gary Hetherington has someone in mind, even at this early stage.

They will be an unknown quantity like a certain Brett Delaney!

So, switching to looking forward to tonight and the first game at home this season, against Hull FC.

It will be interesting to see if the week off benefits us or the extra game time is to Hull’s advantage.

ADAM ANDERSON

The postponement of last Friday’s Super League game with Catalans Dragons will be a good thing for us, I feel.

The players with the knocks will have been able to rest up and should, therefore, be fit for the game tonight.

Hopefully, we will see a few of them back for tonight’s encounter with Hull, especially with Jimmy Keinhorst looking like he’s going to be out for a while now.

People might think that we have not had a bad start to the season.

But we’ve played three teams all from the Qualifiers last season and haven’t looked too promising in two of the three games.

We’ve coped a few long-term injuries too which have been a hindrance to us.

Onwards to our first real home game against Hull FC, a team that are playing quite well and will want to get the win at Headingley they’ve craved for a number of years.

They’ve got a few out as well as us, so it will be tough for both sides.

Hopefully, we can get back on form and get the two points.

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