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Super League Match Preview: Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos

THE SCENE

Date: Friday, March 13.

Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium

Kick-Off: 20:00.

Coverage: Sky Sports 1.

SQUADS

Warrington 19-man squad: Asotasi, Atkins, Bridge, Clark, Currie, Evans, Harrison, Higham, Hill, King, Laithwaite, O’Brien, Penny, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Sims, Westwood, Wheeler.

Leeds 19-man squad: Hardaker, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Cuthbertson, Singleton, Walters, Golding.

PREVIEW

Warrington have won their last four home meetings with Leeds, with the Rhinos’ last away win against the Wolves coming 26-24 in the Super League play-offs on 30 September, 2011. But the Rhinos come into Friday night’s game in good form.

The Rhinos have been imperious during the 2015 season so far, winning all four of their league matches and scoring 149 points in the process as they sit top of the First Utility Super League table.

Last week, their 100 per cent record appeared to be under threat as a toothless first half saw them trail 12-0 at the KC Stadium at the break. However, led by the impressive Brad Singleton, they produced an almost impeccable second period, scoring 43 unanswered points to eventually record a comfortable win on Humberside.

Meanwhile, the Wolves find themselves in third place after just one defeat from their first four league matches.

Following two wins from their first two matches, their World Club Series exploits seemed to take their toll as they fell to a 38-18 away defeat to a Todd Carney-inspired Catalans Dragons, but they bounced back last week with a hard-fought 32-24 win over Hull KR.

Leeds have a convincing edge over Wire in the overall meetings between the two clubs, with Leeds winning 30 clashes and the Wolves comingout on top on just 15 occasions, while the two sides have drawn just once.

Warrington’s highest ever score against Leeds has come twice with a 44-16 win in 2006 equalling a 44-10 win in 2000, while their widest winning margin came as they beat the Rhinos 42-6 in 2011.

A 54-16 home win in 2006 is Leeds’ highest score against the Wolves, while their widest margin of victory came as they won 52-10 at the HJ Stadium in 2007.

LAST TEN MEETINGS

Leeds 24, Warrington 16 (CCSF, 9/8/14)
(at Langtree Park, St Helens)
Warrington 24, Leeds 6 (SLR15, 30/5/14)
Leeds 18, Warrington 12 (SLR2, 21/2/14)
Warrington 40, Leeds 20 (SLQPO, 14/9/13)
Warrington 19, Leeds 18 (SLR21, 5/7/13)
Leeds 28, Warrington 22 (SLR11, 7/4/13)
Leeds 26, Warrington 18 (Super League Grand Final, 6/10/12)
(at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Leeds 18, Warrington 35 (Challenge Cup Final, 25/8/12)
(at Wembley Stadium)
Warrington 37, Leeds 18 (SLR17, 8/6/12)
Leeds 26, Warrington 18 (SLR6, 9/3/12)

PREDICTION

Leeds have been in superb form so far this season, but this is arguably their biggest test to date in 2015. I think the Wolves, on home turf, will have too much for their visitors and will edge out a win. Warrington by 8.

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