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16 Feb 2017 by TSZ

Super League Previews - Week Two

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Leigh Centurions vs Leeds Rhinos

The Lowdown

LEIGH CENTURIONS

  • The euphoria around Leigh's return to the Super League was brought crashing down as they lost heavily to Castleford in a game in which they were comprehensively outplayed.
  • Martyn Ridyard, Glenn Stewart, Dayne Weston and Liam Hood have all been left out of the squad for this game after all four of them featured in that loss to Castleford.
  • Leigh could give debuts to Australian forward Lachlan Burr and French international Antoni Maria while skipper Micky Higham and centre Willie Tonga are recalled in place of Liam Hood and Tom Armstrong.

Head Coach: Neil Jukes

Squad: Jamie Acton, Mitch Brown, Lachlan Burr, Ben Crooks, Matty Dawson, Josh Drinkwater, Ryan Hampshire, Harrison Hansen, Micky Higham, Adam Higson, Gareth Hock, Sam Hopkins, Antoni Maria, Cory Paterson, Eloi Pelissier, Ben Reynolds, Danny Tickle, Willie Tonga, Atelea Vea

Unavailable: James Clare (Knee), Gregg McNally (Knee), Martyn Ridyard (Unknown), Glenn Stewart (Unknown), Dayne Weston (Ankle), Liam Hood (Calf), Tom Armstrong (Unknown)

LEEDS RHINOS

  • The Leeds Rhinos kicked off the 2017 season with a narrow 6-4 loss to St Helens in what was a hard fought match where their defence impressed but their creative play was lacking.
  • They welcome back Danny McGuire from injury after they game him an extra week to recover but he is fit to play and that is a timely boost as Leeds aim for their first win of the season.
  • Ferres, Galloway and Delaney are all absent once again and they are also without last week's tryscorer Joel Moon who is suffering with concussion from the St Helens' game.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire, Anthony Mullally, Jack Ormondroyd, Matt Parcell, Bradley Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Josh Walters, Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins

Unavailable: Joel Moon (Concussion), Brett Ferres (Groin), Keith Galloway (Achilles), Brett Delaney (Unknown)


Analysis - what to expect
Both of these sides come into this game following opening day defeats but it will be Leeds who will be more confident after that narrow loss against St Helens, while Leigh will know only too well how much work they have to do after the loss to Castleford. The major changes in the Leigh squad suggest the coach is yet to find his best team and the right balance, so until they find some cohesion, they will struggle to compete with the quality teams in the Super League like Leeds.

Huddersfield Giants vs Salford Red Devils

The Lowdown

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS

  • An excellent start to the season for Huddersfield as they beat Widnes away from home so they come into this match against Salford full of confidence.
  • Sam Rapira is back in the squad after injury and he replaces Tom Symonds who is forced to drop out with a knee problem in what is the only change from last week.
  • The Giants are desperate to start well after the dismal start last season and making the John Smith's Stadium a fortress will be key for them in the early weeks of the season and starting here.

Head Coach: Rick Stone

Squad: Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Ryan Brierley, Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Michael Lawrence, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Daniel Smith, Darnell McIntosh, Alex Mellor

Unavailable: Jake Mamo (Ankle), Tom Symonds (Knee)

SALFORD RED DEVILS

  • Salford lost their opening game in disappointing fashion to Wigan at home last week but they took plenty of positives from a spirited second half display that they will take into this game.
  • Australian Todd Carney has finally received his visa to play in the UK but has not been named in the squad for this match as he continues to build up his fitness.
  • Logan Tomkins and Josh Jones are back in the squad to hand coach Ian Watson a boost and they replace Josh Wood and Jordan Walne in the 19-man squad.

Head Coach: Ian Watson

Squad: Kriss Brining, Justin Carney, Michael Dobson, Niall Evalds, Mark Flanagan, George Griffin, Greg Johnson, Craig Kopczak, Olsi Krasniqi, Ryan Lannon, Rob Lui, Lee Mossop, Gareth O'Brien, Junior Sa'u, Lama Tasi, Adam Walne, Logan Tomkins, Josh Jones, Kris Welham

Unavailable: Todd Carney (Fitness), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Knee), Weller Huaraki (Foot), Josh Wood (Unknown), Jordan Walne (Unknown)


Analysis - what to expect
Contrasting starts for both of these two sides last week and the hosts will be confident of picking up a second consecutive win of the season. Salford are boosted by the return of a couple of players but last week's first half against Wigan suggested they have a lot of improvements to make. Huddersfield can make this two from two in a close fought game.

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