Headingley Carnegie stages a meeting of two teams in contrasting form tonight, as the unbeaten Leeds Rhinos take on London Broncos, who have yet to pick up a point in 2014.
After last week’s impressive victory over an in-form Widnes Vikings side, confidence will be high amongst the Leeds ranks that they can record their fifth victory in six games – with the 12-12 draw at Huddersfield the only blot on their card so far this season.
And Brian McDermott has been able to call on the services of Ryan Hall again, after he missed last weekend’s victory over the Vikings. He will come straight back in to replace the injured Joel Moon – with Ben Jones-Bishop likely to go to full-back to accommodate Hall’s return. Zak Hardaker will go to centre in the absence of moon.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Burrow, Aiton, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Briscoe, Singleton, Mulhern.
London Broncos: Bishay, Caton-Brown, Cook, Cunningham, Drinkwater, Farrar, Forster, Foster, Greenwood, Griffin, Krasniqi, Macani, McMeeken, Minns, Moore, O’Callaghan, Slyney, Solomona, Vea.
Leeds have won their last twelve (ten Super League and two Challenge Cup) Headingley meetings with the capital side (as London Broncos) since 2001. The Broncos’ last away win against the Rhinos was 18-6 on 15 September, 2000 – in the last regular season game of Super League V.
That win was the last Broncos victory over the Rhinos on English soil – with Leeds emerging as winners on 17 of 19 occasions since. The sides fought out a 36-36 draw at Brentford’s Griffin Park on 18 July, 2004; with the Broncos’ solitary win coming 32-24, in a game played at Perpignan’s Stade Aime Giral, on 9 July, 2005.
Unfortunately it looks like six defeats from six for the Broncos; the Rhinos will be just too strong to back against.