Super League play-offs preview: Leeds Rhinos v St Helens
Last Updated: 20/09/13 9:56pm
Super League champions Leeds Rhinos face the prospect of elimination from the play-offs on Friday when bogey team St Helens come to Headingley Carnegie.
Although the Rhinos won at Langtree Park earlier in the campaign their home record against Saints is woeful, including a 30-22 loss earlier in the season despite taking a 16-0 lead.
St Helens have won their last three trips to Headingley and victory on Friday would deny the Rhinos a possible chance of reaching Old Trafford for the sixth time in seven seasons.
While the Rhinos were crushed by Warrington 40-20 on Saturday, Saints make the trip along the M62 full of confidence after brushing aside Hull KR 46-10 last week.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott has named an unchanged squad, with Chris Clarkson and Mitch Achurch remaining in the initial 19 for Friday's clash.
The game will mark the 300th and 100th career appearances respectively for Leeds duo Kylie Leuluai and Kallum Watkins.
"We're going to have to put in a big week to prepare for the game against St Helens and make sure we come out on the right side of the result," Ben Jones-Bishop told the club's official website.
"But for us to have senior blokes like Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield in our team, who have been there and done it before, is a big boost as they've set the precedent.
"They lead and we follow and it's all about the mind-set of do or die and being the most clinical team on the day and obviously we've managed to be that team in past years so hopefully we can be that team again."
St Helens coach Nathan Brown is also hoping to stick with the team that thrashed Hull KR in the first round of the play-offs.
Makeshift scrum-half Jon Wilkin (concussion) and full-back Jonny Lomax (hamstring) failed to finish that match and Brown admits he may have to delay finalising his line-up.
"We've got a few bumps," he said. "We'll make a late check on one or two, that are causing a bit of concern. We're no different to any other side at this time of year."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Singleton, Sutcliffe.
St Helens: Wellens, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Greenwood, Walmsley, Swift, Howarth.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
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, play-offs week 2
Leeds coach Brian McDermott heaped praise on a beaten St Helens side after the Rhinos prevailed in "an epic game".
Leeds kept their hopes of defending the Super League title alive after a late Danny McGuire drop goal gave them a thrilling 11-10 victory over St Helens at Headingley.
Leeds Rhinos are through to the Super League play-off semi-finals after beating St Helens 11-10. Man of the Match Carl Ablett and Brian McDermott gave their reaction to the game along with St Helens' Willie Manu