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20 Jun 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 Super League – Leeds Rhinos vs Catalans Dragons Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Wednesday 20th June, 19:45

Where? Emerald Headingley Stadium

What channel is it on? Leeds Rhinos vs Catalans Dragons will not be televised live

Where can I stream the match? N/A

Are tickets still available? https://tickets.therhinos.co.uk/PagesPublic/ProductBrowse/VisualSeatSelection.aspx?stadium=CL&product=18RHCD&campaign=&type=H&productsubtype=HL&productIsHomeAsAway=N

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

LEEDS RHINOS

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: T. Briscoe, Cuthbertson, Dwyer, Ferres, Garbutt, Golding, Handley, Holroyd, Lilley, Moon, Mullally, Newman, Oledzki, Ormondroyd, Parcell, Smith, Sutcliffe, Walker, Walters

Unavailable: Brad Singleton, Kallum Watkins, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Nathaniel Peteru, Jimmy Keinhorst, Carl Ablett, Brett Delaney, Richie Myler, Ryan Hall, Stevie Ward

  • Leeds suffered late heartache last week as they failed to hold on to the lead for a valuable win against league leaders St Helens. The Rhinos were six points ahead with as many minutes left but a converted Ryan Morgan try followed by a Danny Richardson drop goal snatched a 22-23 win for Saints.

  • Brian McDermott is without Ryan Hall who is away on international duty with England. Stevie Ward is also out with a hamstring injury with Mikolaj Oledzki overcoming a head knock to take his place in the 19-man squad along with youngster Tom Holroyd. Luke Briscoe is likely to be a late inclusion for the Rhinos having joined on loan from Featherstone.

  • The Rhinos have now lost four consecutive home matches as their poor run continues. With just one league win in nine and five back-to-back defeats, Leeds are in desperate need of a win to halt their poor run or risk dropping out of the top 8.

CATALANS DRAGONS

Head Coach: Steve McNamara

Squad: Anderson, Baitieri, Bird, Bousquet, Casty, Drinkwater, Duport, Edwards, Garcia, Gigot, Jullien, Langi, McIlorum, Mead, Simon, Tierney, Wiliame, Yaha

Unavailable: Paul Aiton, Lucas Albert, Thibaud Margalet, Jodie Broughton, Antoni Maria, Sam Moa

  • Despite having raced into 18-point lead within the first quarter of the game, Catalans surrendered that advantaged as they lost a thrilling and crucial match with Huddersfield. The Dragons eventually succumbed to defeat with Oliver Russell’s 77th minute penalty sealing a 26-25 win for the Giants.

  • Steve McNamara makes just one change to last week’s 19-man squad with Fouad Yaha returning from suspension to replace Mickael Goudemand. However, Sam Moa has since been suspended and will also miss out.

  • Catalans’ winless run away from home was extended to seven games with last week’s defeat. If the Dragons are to make the top 8, they are likely to have to win at least a couple of their remaining four games that they have to play on the road.

THE PREDICTION

In the first of this week’s rearranged games, Leeds host Catalans in a vitally important fixture in the race to avoid the Middle 8s. Just one point could separate the two teams if Catalans can claim the win which would leave the final few spots in the top 8 wide open heading into the final five fixtures before the league split. Both teams suffered heartbreak last week with them going down to late defeats. Leeds’ poor run of form was extended whilst Catalans’ search for an away win continued. If the Dragons want to have a realistic chance of making the Super 8s, they need to find that elusive away win here and with Leeds’ mounting problems in terms of unavailable players, this make-or-break game could have come at just the right time with them capable of edging a close encounter.

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