Super League preview: Leeds Rhinos v Hull KR
Last Updated: 16/08/13 12:19pm
Leeds Rhinos will be looking to maintain their excellent Super League form when they take on Hull KR in front of the Sky cameras at Headingley Carnegie on Friday.
Brian McDermott's champions go in search fifth successive league success following last Friday's 42-16 triumph over the Salford City Reds.
The Robins had been one of the form teams recently, but three straight defeats to the likes of Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors and Hull FC have halted their progress.
Leeds are just two points behind former leaders Wigan heading into Friday's clash while KR will be eager to maintain their four-point advantage over ninth-place Bradford Bulls.
Rhinos forward Ryan Bailey could make his return following a thumb injury although the game comes too soon for experienced duo Danny McGuire and Jamie Jones-Buchanan.
Brett Delaney, who signed a new five-year contract on Wednesday, is expected to be fit for the play-offs while centre Joel Moon (foot) is still two to three weeks from returning.
"I am expecting a lot of energy and enthusiasm from Hull KR on Friday night," explained McDermott. "They will have been disappointed to lose their derby game at home last week and they will see this match as a chance to bounce back from that.
"They are a good side who have picked up some big wins already this year and the chance to turn us over will be something they are looking at to kick-start their play-off push.
"I think in the last couple of years they have become a much more rounded side that doesn't rely so much on Michael Dobson coming up with a piece of brilliance to win them a game. Dobson is still very much their key man, and if he has a quiet game that impacts on them, but they have other attacking threats and I think Travis Burns has been a good addition to their squad."
Hull KR head coach Craig Sandercock will turn to youth for Friday trip west along the M62 to play the champions in their own back yard.
With full-back Greg Eden now ruled out for the rest of the season the Australian tactician had been forced to raid the club's Under-19 squad with only 15 players available.
Lincoln Withers is available after suspension, while Rhys Lovegrove will be given a fitness test on Thursday. Graeme Horne and Cory Paterson remain sidelined.
"There will be one or two youngsters in my squad on Friday," Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail.
"At the moment I have 15 fit players so I'll sit down and think about who to bring in from the under-19s after watching their videos.
"It's a case of seeing how I can juggle my fit players and then what positions we need to fill. I'll see who the next in line is."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Moore, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Foster, Minchella, Duckworth.
Hull KR: Salter, Netherton, Walker, Gleeson, Tuimavave, Cox, Mika, Burns, Carlile, Withers, Hall, Griffin, D. Hodgson, Lovegrove, Dobson, Caro, Green, Ollett, J. Hodgson.
First Utility Super League
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, round 25
Hull KR have signed Canterbury Bulldogs half-back Kris Keating on a three-year deal.
Widnes ban two fans for life over crowd disturbance during Hull defeat.
Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane will stay in charge next season after the club exercised a one-year option in his deal.
- Donaldson signs Bulls deal
- Hansen: I'm staying a Warrior
- Frustration for Cummins
- Brown critical despite victory
- Tigers end Bulls' hopes
- Saints continue hot streak
- Wane challenges Wigan players
- Dragons send Warriors packing
- Anderson pleased with points
- Giants see off sprited Broncos
- Gentle turns focus to Wembley
- Sandercock: Defence was huge
- Westerman gives Hull the win
- Rampant Rovers stun Rhinos
- Wildcats v Saints: Teams
- Tigers v Bulls: Teams
- Widnes will name and shame
- Dragons v Warriors: Teams
- Broncos v Giants: Teams
- Vikings leave Wolves stunned
- Crookes handed Hull lifeline
- Wolves v Vikings: Teams
- Wigan stars to face Dragons