Super League preview: Leeds Rhinos v Widnes Vikings
Last Updated: 13/03/14 2:41pm
Two unbeaten Super League clubs meet at Headingley Carnegie on Friday as Leeds Rhinos host ever-improving Widnes Vikings.
The Rhinos dropped their first point of the new season following their 12-12 draw with Huddersfield Giants last time out while the Vikings' win over Salford maintained their perfect record three games in.
Brian McDermott's men did the double over Widnes last season, after following up their 52-36 away win with a hard-fought 38-28 on home soil while Widnes' trip to Leeds will be their first away match of the campaign.
Leeds have added utility back Ben Jones-Bishop and prop Ryan Bailey to the team that drew against the Giants. England Knights winger Jones-Bishop has yet to play for the Rhinos this season and had been linked with a loan move.
Second-rowers Brett Delaney and Carl Ablett have both shaken off injuries sustained in that match, with the latter set to make his 200th appearance for the club.
Leeds' fit-again Stevie Ward knows Denis Betts' Vikings will be no pushovers on Friday night, telling the YEP: "They gave Salford a really good game last week and came away with a win and it's going to be a really testing game.
"Widnes always are, they are always tough and this year they're looking like they've got even better. It's going to be a tough one, but it'll be good to be at home and hopefully we can get a solid performance out."
Widnes coach Denis Betts has recalled fit-again three-quarters Patrick Ah Van and Cameron Phelps as well as forwards Ben Kavanagh and Rhodri Lloyd, with Stef Marsh, Phil Joseph and Paul Johnson dropping out of the squad with minor injuries.
"We are used to playing here at the Select Security Stadium but we go to Leeds and we will get a fast surface and a team who has the most line breaks in the competition," Betts told the club's official website.
"When you look at their backline the challenge for us is there for all to see. Watkins, Hall, Briscoe, Hardaker, McGuire, Burrow and Sinfield. It's a pretty daunting back line but this is what it's about for us - facing players of that quality."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Achurch, Briscoe, Singleton.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Brown, Clarke, Clough, Craven, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Lloyd, Mellor, Owens, Phelps, Tickle, White.
First Utility Super League
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 2014, round five
Tony Rea reflects on the fine form of St Helens and Leeds and a heavy defeat for his London Broncos.
We look at who have been Super League's best and worst so far in the 2014 season.
Castleford full-back Jordan Tansey has been accused of making deliberate contact with a referee.
- Vikings sweat over Mellor
- A Saintly start
- Tigers pounce late once more
- Ruthless Giants blitz Bulls
- Attack pleases Agar
- Wildcats maul Broncos
- Koukash critical of displays
- Brown: Best win yet
- Patient Wolves please Smith
- Perfect Saints sink Dragons
- McDermott hails two-try hero
- Rhinos rip through Vikings
- Three and easy for Wolves
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Tigers v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wildcats: Teams
- Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
- Morley issues rallying cry
- Saints v Dragons: Teams
- Vea to make Broncos debut
- Red Devils v Wolves: Teams
- Warriors v Hull KR: Teams
- Powell may call on Webster
- Wane makes case for defence
- Rapira to miss Wolves clash
- Brown: Saints can improve