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THE QUALIFIERS MATCH PREVIEW | Halifax vs Leeds Rhinos

Leeds hope to close in on safety with a win at Halifax. Here’s everything you need to know…

SQUAD NEWS

Halifax

Richard Marshall makes two changes to his squad following a fifth consecutive defeat in the Qualifiers away at Widnes Vikings.

Centre Steve Tyrer could make an earlier return than expected from an MCL injury, and is rated as 50/50 to feature, while prop Brandon Douglas could also make a comeback from a calf problem having not featured since April.

Steve Tyrer, Halifax. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Simon Grix was named in last week’s squad but remains out of action, while James Saltonstall is the other to drop out.

Halifax 19-man squad: Sharp, Heaton, Tyrer, Murrell, Johnston, Kaye, Tangata, Grady, Fairbank, Moore, Woodburn-Hall, Maher, Butler, Moss, Jones, Fleming, Douglas, Cooper, Davies.

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds picked up a crucial win last time out thanks to a late Liam Sutcliffe penalty against Salford, and director of rugby Kevin Sinfield makes two changes to his squad for the short trip to Halifax.

Brett Ferres serves a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle in last week’s win at Headingley, while Mikolaj Oledzki drops out to play in the Under-19s semi-final.

Ashton Golding, Leeds Rhinos. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Anthony Mullally returns after missing the last couple of matches, along with Ashton Golding who hasn’t appeared since scoring twice in the win at London five weeks ago.

Leeds 19-man squad: Golding, T Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Moon, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Dwyer, Mullally, Keinhorst, Peteru, Walker, Smith, Walters, L Briscoe, Crosby, Thompson.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the first meeting between the two West Yorkshire sides since 2003, when the Rhinos won 54-6 on home soil, with a side that included Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who is set to feature again on Sunday, and current director of rugby Kevin Sinfield.

The Shay was once a tough ground for Leeds, losing there in each of the first five seasons of Super League between 1996 and 2000, but they won the last seven meetings before Fax’s relegation at the end of 2003.

KEY BATTLE – Brandon Moore vs Matt Parcell

The battle at hooker is always key and if Halifax want to stay in this match and compete against their more prestigious opponents, their replacement nine will be crucial.

Brandon Moore has had another stellar year with Fax, earning a nomination for the Championship Young Player of the Year for his impact off the bench in their run to the Qualifiers.

Matt Parcell, Leeds Rhinos. Photo credit: Getty Images.

He’s likely to face Matt Parcell in the thick of the action, who has been second to the starting Brad Dwyer in recent weeks, and while the Australian hasn’t had the best of years he still possesses all of the quality that got him into the Super League Dream Team last season.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Sunday 23rd September
Venue: MBi Shay Stadium
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Liam Moore

POLL

Which side will win this Qualifiers match?

I am a 19-year-old Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. I cover a lot of rugby league, following Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants and working for Halifax RLFC. If you want to see more of my ramblings on rugby and football then follow me on Twitter @stibbo99.

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