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SUPER LEAGUE MATCH PREVIEW: Wakefield Trinity vs Leeds Rhinos

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Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield flyer Ben Jones-Bishop returns to the squad for their clash with Leeds Rhinos after missing their 27-26 defeat away at Hull FC, while Danny Kirmond returns to the 19-man squads after a few games out.

Justin Horo is also named after a shock late inclusion in the squad for their previous clash against Hull FC.

Wakefield 19-man squad: Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Baldwinson, Batchelor, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood.

Leeds Rhinos

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Brian McDermott welcomes back a fresh Jamie Jones-Buchanan into the side after resting him for their 20-0 defeat of Salford last time out.

Liam Sutcliffe is also included in the 19-man squad, while Mikolaj Oledzki and Cameron Smith retain their places in the squad after good performances over the congested Easter period.

Leeds 19-man squad: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall, Moon, Myler, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, Dwyer, Mullally, Ferres, Handley, Smith, Oledzki, Walters.

HEAD TO HEAD

Leeds have had the edge over Wakefield recently, having won 4 of the last 5 meetings between the two sides. The Rhinos have also won 3 of their last 4 away games against Wakefield.

KEY BATTLE- The Forward Battle

Both teams come into this one with injuries in the pack. Leeds, however, have Jamie Jones-Buchanan coming into the 19-man squad well rested. Wakefield boast two of the most explosive forwards in the competition in the form of Pauli Pauli and David Fifita. Wakefield will be without Fifita for this Sunday’s clash, while Pauli Pauli is included in the 19-man squad.

Coming into this match with four losses on the bounce, Wakefield’s season is in danger of going in the wrong direction after a perfect start in the opening rounds.

By contrast, Leeds have only lost two games all season. With the congested Easter period taking it’s toll on energy levels and squad depth, it is of paramount importance to get on the front foot of this game for both sides. Put simply, the pack will be influential in winning the arm wrestle and gaining momentum for their backs to play off.

While Leeds aren’t the most exciting team in the competition, they have the clinical finishing and clinical defence to get the job done. In addition, they come into this off the back of keeping Salford scoreless and if they can keep it tight up front this time out, the result is a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand,Wakefield’s Pauli Pauli has the ability to get a quick play of the ball off the back of a strong carry and  consequently get his side on the front foot, but he will need help from the likes of Huby, Hirst, Horo, and Kirmond to back up with big metres if Wakefield are to have any chance in this one.

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THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Sunday 8th April

Venue: Beaumont Legal Stadium

Kick-off: 3:00pm

WHO WILL WIN?

Can Wakefield bounce back from their poor run of results with a win against the Rhinos?

I am a 19-year old Sports Journalist at the University of Chester. I have been writing for three years and currently work as part of the Widnes Vikings media team. I also contribute to Widnes'/Warrington Wolves' match-day programme. To see my work, follow me @J_M_Messenger

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