Newly promoted London travel to Leeds as confident as they can be as Leeds struggle to find form. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
A dismal start for Leeds sees them stuck 11th in the table, having won just one of their opening 6 games. Last week’s defeat at the hands of Hull FC showed just how much progress is needed.
London have won two of their opening 6 and are outperforming many early expectations of the side. Last week’s 26-0 loss to St Helens shows they still need to improve.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett have both been named in the Leeds side and could make their first home appearances of the season.
Young player Tom Holroyd could also get a chance after impressing for the under 19s. Centre Harry Newman is likely to play after scoring two tries against Hull last week.
Leeds 19-man squad: Walker, Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Merrin, Ablett, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Ferres, Peteru, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Donaldson, Newman, Holroyd
London have named a strong side to face Leeds, with both Jordan Abdull and James Cunningham in the side. This is also coach Danny Ward’s first time coaching at Headingley, having played for Leeds for six years.
London 19-man squad: Abdull, Battye, Butler, Cunningham, Davis, Dixon, Fleming, Fozard, Gee, Kear, Lovell, Mason, Morgan, Pelissier, Pitts, Richards, Walker, Williams, Yates
HEAD TO HEAD
Before last season’s meeting in the Super 8s Qualifiers, the two sides had not played one another since the 2014 season, where each side won their home game.
Since reverting to the Broncos name, London are yet to win at Headingley in 3 attempts.
There has only ever been two draws between the two sides, so expect one side to emerge the victor on Friday night.
Jordan Abdull (London) v Tui Lolohea (Leeds)
Following an up and down career so far, Abdull seems to have found consistency with the Broncos. His size enables him to help out defensively while he is also hugely valuable going forward and is capable of moments of magic.
Similarly, Lolohea has shown flashes that he can be a superstar in the league. He just needs to do this on a more consistent basis. I expect to see a real battle in the halves on Friday night.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 15th March
Venue: Emerald Headingley Stadium
Referee: Chris Kendall
WHO WILL WIN?
Leeds have been under-performing as of late and London are a team they simply have to beat if they expect anything from this season. I’m going for a Leeds win: 36-18.