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Super League: Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos preview
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- Giants stride past Dragons
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Widnes and Leeds lock horns for the second time in less than a fortnight when they clash at the Halton Stadium on Sunday.
The Rhinos overcame a lengthy injury list to triumph 38-28 when they hosted the Vikings on June 17, Ben Jones-Bishop one of the home side's try-scorers at Headingley as he made his comeback after eight months out.
However the reigning Super League champions were beaten 40-18 last time out by Huddersfield in a match that saw Jamie Jones-Buchanan become their latest casualty.
The England international suffered a knee injury and is expected to be out for around 12 weeks, joining fellow forward Kylie Leuluai on the sidelines.
Jones-Buchanan's absence could lead to Rhinos coach Brian McDermott handing a debut to 19-year-old Alex Foster.
At least the visitors are bolstered by the return of centre duo Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon, with the former making a quicker-than-expected comeback from ankle ligament damage. Moon, meanwhile, is back from suspension.
Widnes go into the weekend looking to build on a superb 32-28 result against Bradford last Sunday that saw them recover from an 18-4 deficit to record their first victory at Odsal in nearly 23 years.
Vikings boss Denis Betts could recall Will Isa while Frank Winterstein looks set to make his 100th appearance in the British game after taking the place of the injured Hep Cahill.
"To come back from 12 points down, the way we did against Bradford shows the character we have in the side, and our ability to win difficult games," Betts told the club's official website.
"Leeds will come here on Sunday with the best side they can field with some internationals in their team that can win games in the blink of an eye, and it will be a very, very tough game."
Widnes: Ah Van, Allen, K. Brown, Clarke, Craven, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Pickersgill, Winterstein.
Leeds: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Baldwinson, Foster.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||22||20|
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||22||4|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|15:30||Castleford vs London Broncos|
|Thursday 14th August|
|20:00||Hull K R vs Wigan|
|Friday 15th August|
|20:00||Salford vs Catalan Dragons|
|20:00||Warrington vs Castleford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Huddersfield 38 - 16 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Warrington 26 - 40 Wakefield|
|Saturday 26th July|
|London Broncos 10 - 62 Hull K R|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
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