Leeds Rhinos host Catalans Dragons at Headingley in one of Friday’s three Super League fixtures from round four. The home side will be aiming to recover from their 66-10 hammering away at Castleford last Thursday, while Catalans will want to go one better than round three where they were held to a 14-14 draw against Widnes in Perpignan.
Last Time Out
Leeds suffered a second defeat of the season against the Tigers in the previous round as only Anthony Mullally and Joel Moon were able to put points on the board for Brian McDermott’s men. While it was hoped 2017 could be the Rhinos’ comeback year after a dreadful 2016, the club’s two wins over Leigh and Salford respectively have come by just six points or less – hardly the comeback fans would have wanted early on.
Meanwhile, Laurent Frayssionous’ Dragons could only manage a point against Widnes as the Vikings came from 14-6 down to draw 14-14 – and Denis Betts’ men would have won had Rhys Hanbury not skewed two conversion attempts. Frayssinous will aim for a better performance from his side as they travel to Headingley and they will be galvanised after an away victory at Hull FC earlier in the season.
This tie could be decided by each side’s half-backs as Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow go head-to-head with Luke Walsh and Richie Myler – a new pairing for 2017. Myler currently has three tries for the season and is the French side’s top scorer in 2017, while McGuire and Burrow are proven veterans who could show their experience on Friday.
Leeds and Catalans are two of the lowest-scoring sides in the competition so far this year, so points could be hard to come by. However, defence could be a key factor as both have conceded points too. Kicks could be crucial, and the Dragons could run their hosts close. But Leeds have crucial home presence which could carry them to victory.
Leeds by 6.
Leeds Rhinos: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Sutcliffe, Delaney, Singleton, Keinhorst, Mullally, Walters, Ormondroyd, Baldwinson, Lilley.
Catalans Dragons: Broughton, Wiliame, Walsh, Myler, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Bird, Bousquet, Garcia, Bosc, Baitieri, Duport, Simon, Burgess, Thornley, Albert, Da Costa.