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15 Sep 2017 by TSZ

Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Red Devils Preview

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The Lowdown

LEEDS RHINOS

  • Leeds fell to defeat at league leaders Castleford but with other results going their way, the Rhinos secured second place in Super League and with it, a home semi-final.
  • Brian McDermott isn't far off boasting a fully fit squad and is able to recall Joel Moon and Brett Ferres as well as Rob Burrow who has served a one-match ban.
  • Leeds will want to build some momentum heading into the semi-finals and will be confident of doing so against a side that they have beaten in 17 of their last 18 encounters in all competitions.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Delaney, Brett Ferres, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire, Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins

Unavailable: Keith Galloway (Achilles), Josh Walters (Knee) Ash Handley (Knee), Jack Walker (Hamstring), Jordan Lilley

SALFORD RED DEVILS

  • Salford won their first game in nine to keep alive their slim hopes of a top four spot but now require a minor miracle in order to prolong their season.
  • The Red Devils were dominant and scored nine tries to put Huddersfield to the sword but now face a trip to Headingley where Leeds are difficult to beat and have won their last five home Super League games.
  • Ian Watson is without winger Greg Johnson with Olsi Krasniqi also left out after it was announced he will move to Toronto Wolfpack next season. George Griffin and Daniel Murray return to the squad.

Head Coach: Ian Watson

Squad: Jake Bibby, Kriss Brining, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, Weller Hauraki, Josh Jones, Craig Kopczak, Ryan Lannon, Rob Lui, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Daniel Murray, Gareth O'Brien, Junior Sa'u, Logan Tomkins, Manu Vatuvei, Adam Walne, Jordan Walne, Kris Welham

Unavailable: Lama Tasi (Knee), Mark Flanagan (Shoulder), Greg Johnson (Hip), Lee Mossop (Injured), Michael Dobson (Injured), Olsi Krasniqi, Todd Carney, Josh Wood

Analysis - what to expect
Leeds and Salford face off in a game many may view as meaningless but both teams will see it differently. Leeds are secure in second place but will want to build some momentum ahead of their home semi-final in two weeks' time. Salford are still mathematically able to qualify for the semi-finals but will require lots to go their way, including them winning this one against a team they have only beaten once in the last 18 attempts. Although Salford got back to winning ways last week, this is an entirely different proposition and Leeds should improve their already impressive home record.

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