Leeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons: Preview

Leeds Rhinos 46-10 Catalans Dragons

Eight days on from the Rhinos’ mauling at the hands of the Tigers, they now have the task of taking on a Dragons outfit perfectly marshalled by former Warrington half-back Richie Myler.

Team news and form – Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos welcome back Carl Ablett and Rob Burrow to the side that got absolutely demolished by a white-hot Castleford side. The Rhinos were missing eight first team players last Thursday, and are still without Stevie Ward, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Mitch Garbutt from the side that defeated Salford with a last-gasp try from Liam Sutcliffe.

Their form has been good up until the hammering against Castleford. Their attack has been very poor, only scoring 51 points so far this season, but their defence kept them in games with try-saving tackles being the theme of each of their first three games. So the Rhinos will be hoping the Tigers defeat was just a blip, however there’s a genuine concern for a side that looked completely lost and completely void of leaders and ideas.

Team news and form – Catalans Dragons

The travelling Dragons have made two changes to the side that drew 14-all to Widnes Vikings in mud bath-like conditions, with Julian Bousquet and Jason Baitieri returning to the side in place of Krisnan Inu and Thibaut Margalet. The Catalans 19-man squad feature former Rhinos players in the shape of Luke Burgess, Paul Aiton and former academy product Jodie Broughton.

The Dragons form is solid but not spectacular as they remain undefeated but far from convincing. They surrendered an eight-point half-time lead against Widnes, when normally they’re so strong at home. They have one point more than the Rhinos, but look a far more confident and led side than Leeds.

Ones to watch and where the game will be won

The win for the Rhinos will depend so much on the halves firing in attack and playing off the back of strong forward play. So, I feel that Jordan Lilley will have a big game, if picked. If not, then the pressure will be on Rob Burrow to make sure pride returns to the Rhinos squad.

For the Dragons, Richie Myler will be the man to hopefully rip the Rhinos apart. He’s complementing Luke Walsh well and with a hooker of Paul Aiton’s ability, he should play on the front foot for most the game.

Leeds Rhinos Squad: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Sutcliffe, Delaney, Singleton, Keinhorst, Mullally, Walters, Ormondroyd, Baldwinson, Lilley.

Catalans Dragons Squad: Broughton, Wiliame, Walsh, Myler, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Bird, Bousquet, Garcia, Bosc, Baitieri, Duport, Simon, Burgess, Thornley, Albert, Da Costa.

Prediction: Leeds Rhinos 18-10 Catalans Dragons