Toulouse Olympique vs Leeds Rhinos: Team news, match preview and score prediction

For the first time this season, there’s a real sustained optimism at Headingley.

Unlike after their 40-4 win over Warrington, last week they backed up their 62-16 win over Newcastle with an impressive win over Castleford at the Magic Weekend. Now a third consecutive win beckons Leeds for the first time this season as their play-off hopes become more of a reality.

Remarkably, Toulouse are chasing a similar achievement as their dreams of Super League survival also become much more real.

Team News

Toulouse are boosted the return Mathieu Jussaume and James Cunningham to their 21-man squad. They only have two two injury concerns in Andrew Dixon and Lloyd White.

Things are a little bit more complex for Leeds. Not only are Blake Austin and Kruise Leeming out injured, they’ve been joined by Aidan Sezer. Matt Prior is also banned and Zak Hardaker is a doubt with a thigh injury. So, Rohan Smith’s team is facing quite the upheaval. At least loan signing Yusuf Aydin will make his debut.

Match Preview – Key Battles:

Olly Ashall-Bott vs Richie Myler: Richie Myler is back to his best running out the back and creating chances and nicking tries himself. However, he’ll be up against the elusive Olly Ashall-Bott in a clash of styles which will catch the eye.

Guy Armitage vs Liam Sutcliffe: Centres with big powerful frames who can break a tackle will look to turn space into tries as Armitage has done all season whilst Sutcliffe has certainly done so in recent weeks.

Jarrod O’Connor vs Nathan Peats: Last week Nathan Peats was exceptional for Toulouse bossing the second half against Wakefield. He’ll have to do that again to slow down the now frantic Rhinos offence. Jarrod O’Connor will be his opposite number after an outstanding performance at nine last week in place of Kruise Leeming. A brilliant defender, he’s a strong runner too with a crisp pair of hands.

Where the game will be won and lost:

Leeds’ attack has been very different under Rohan Smith. The Rhinos express themselves with the ball and can blow teams away. Toulouse likewise look to express themselves with the ball especially at home so it could be about which attack clicks more especially as ball movement could tire defences out in the heat.

Score Prediction: Toulouse Olympique 24-36 Leeds Rhinos

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