Super League play-offs preview: Leeds Rhinos v St Helens
Last Updated: 20/09/13 9:56pm
Super League champions Leeds Rhinos face the prospect of elimination from the play-offs on Friday when bogey team St Helens come to Headingley Carnegie.
Although the Rhinos won at Langtree Park earlier in the campaign their home record against Saints is woeful, including a 30-22 loss earlier in the season despite taking a 16-0 lead.
St Helens have won their last three trips to Headingley and victory on Friday would deny the Rhinos a possible chance of reaching Old Trafford for the sixth time in seven seasons.
While the Rhinos were crushed by Warrington 40-20 on Saturday, Saints make the trip along the M62 full of confidence after brushing aside Hull KR 46-10 last week.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott has named an unchanged squad, with Chris Clarkson and Mitch Achurch remaining in the initial 19 for Friday's clash.
The game will mark the 300th and 100th career appearances respectively for Leeds duo Kylie Leuluai and Kallum Watkins.
"We're going to have to put in a big week to prepare for the game against St Helens and make sure we come out on the right side of the result," Ben Jones-Bishop told the club's official website.
"But for us to have senior blokes like Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield in our team, who have been there and done it before, is a big boost as they've set the precedent.
"They lead and we follow and it's all about the mind-set of do or die and being the most clinical team on the day and obviously we've managed to be that team in past years so hopefully we can be that team again."
St Helens coach Nathan Brown is also hoping to stick with the team that thrashed Hull KR in the first round of the play-offs.
Makeshift scrum-half Jon Wilkin (concussion) and full-back Jonny Lomax (hamstring) failed to finish that match and Brown admits he may have to delay finalising his line-up.
"We've got a few bumps," he said. "We'll make a late check on one or two, that are causing a bit of concern. We're no different to any other side at this time of year."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Singleton, Sutcliffe.
St Helens: Wellens, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Greenwood, Walmsley, Swift, Howarth.
First Utility Super League
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants34 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos36 - 22Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings21 - 20Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers6 - 44Warrington Wolves
Thu 6th Aug - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 7th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 8th Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Thu 13th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 14th Aug - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 20th Aug - Super 8's
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 21st Aug - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Sat 22nd Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsCastleford Tigers
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2013, play-offs week 2
Leeds coach Brian McDermott heaped praise on a beaten St Helens side after the Rhinos prevailed in "an epic game".
Leeds kept their hopes of defending the Super League title alive after a late Danny McGuire drop goal gave them a thrilling 11-10 victory over St Helens at Headingley.
Leeds Rhinos are through to the Super League play-off semi-finals after beating St Helens 11-10. Man of the Match Carl Ablett and Brian McDermott gave their reaction to the game along with St Helens' Willie Manu