Super League preview: Leeds Rhinos v Widnes Vikings
Last Updated: 13/03/14 2:41pm
Two unbeaten Super League clubs meet at Headingley Carnegie on Friday as Leeds Rhinos host ever-improving Widnes Vikings.
The Rhinos dropped their first point of the new season following their 12-12 draw with Huddersfield Giants last time out while the Vikings' win over Salford maintained their perfect record three games in.
Brian McDermott's men did the double over Widnes last season, after following up their 52-36 away win with a hard-fought 38-28 on home soil while Widnes' trip to Leeds will be their first away match of the campaign.
Leeds have added utility back Ben Jones-Bishop and prop Ryan Bailey to the team that drew against the Giants. England Knights winger Jones-Bishop has yet to play for the Rhinos this season and had been linked with a loan move.
Second-rowers Brett Delaney and Carl Ablett have both shaken off injuries sustained in that match, with the latter set to make his 200th appearance for the club.
Leeds' fit-again Stevie Ward knows Denis Betts' Vikings will be no pushovers on Friday night, telling the YEP: "They gave Salford a really good game last week and came away with a win and it's going to be a really testing game.
"Widnes always are, they are always tough and this year they're looking like they've got even better. It's going to be a tough one, but it'll be good to be at home and hopefully we can get a solid performance out."
Widnes coach Denis Betts has recalled fit-again three-quarters Patrick Ah Van and Cameron Phelps as well as forwards Ben Kavanagh and Rhodri Lloyd, with Stef Marsh, Phil Joseph and Paul Johnson dropping out of the squad with minor injuries.
"We are used to playing here at the Select Security Stadium but we go to Leeds and we will get a fast surface and a team who has the most line breaks in the competition," Betts told the club's official website.
"When you look at their backline the challenge for us is there for all to see. Watkins, Hall, Briscoe, Hardaker, McGuire, Burrow and Sinfield. It's a pretty daunting back line but this is what it's about for us - facing players of that quality."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Achurch, Briscoe, Singleton.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Brown, Clarke, Clough, Craven, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Lloyd, Mellor, Owens, Phelps, Tickle, White.
First Utility Super League
Thu 21st May
Castleford Tigers16 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC10 - 17St Helens
Leeds Rhinos36 - 16Hull K R
Salford Red Devils18 - 34Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Warrington WolvesvsCatalans Dragons
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield 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 R0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2014, round five
Tony Rea reflects on the fine form of St Helens and Leeds and a heavy defeat for his London Broncos.
We look at who have been Super League's best and worst so far in the 2014 season.
Castleford full-back Jordan Tansey has been accused of making deliberate contact with a referee.
- Vikings sweat over Mellor
- A Saintly start
- Tigers pounce late once more
- Ruthless Giants blitz Bulls
- Attack pleases Agar
- Wildcats maul Broncos
- Koukash critical of displays
- Brown: Best win yet
- Patient Wolves please Smith
- Perfect Saints sink Dragons
- McDermott hails two-try hero
- Rhinos rip through Vikings
- Three and easy for Wolves
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Tigers v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wildcats: Teams
- Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
- Morley issues rallying cry
- Saints v Dragons: Teams
- Vea to make Broncos debut
- Red Devils v Wolves: Teams
- Warriors v Hull KR: Teams
- Powell may call on Webster
- Wane makes case for defence
- Rapira to miss Wolves clash
- Brown: Saints can improve