Leeds Rhinos vs Leigh Leopards Predictions: More pain for coachless Rhinos

 | Thursday 20th June 2024, 11:39am

Thursday 20th June 2024, 11:39am

George Riley Betfred Super League Tips

An emotional Friday night at AMT Headingley will see the struggling Leeds Rhinos return home for the first time since the death of their legendary scrum-half Rob Burrow, but the Rhinos are in disarray having parted company with head coach Rohan Smith ahead of the visit of Leigh Leopards (Kick-off 20:00 BST, live on Sky Sports Action).

Leeds have lost three of their last four games and a shocking reverse at lowly Hull FC last week has cost Smith his job ahead of the meeting with a Leigh side buoyed by a stunning win away at Catalans Dragons.

Leeds Rhinos vs Leigh Leopards Tips

  • Handicap 3-way Alternative 1: Leigh Leopards -6 @ 8/5
  • Umyla Hanley anytime tryscorer @ TBC

Leeds Rhinos vs Leigh Leopards Odds

The coach-less Rhinos are 11/10 to win on home soil on Friday, with the visiting Leopards the odds-on shot at 4/5. The draw is available at 16/1.

Team News

Leeds could scarcely afford to lose more bodies as they bid to find form before it is too late to rescue their season, but four key players have been ruled out of this one. England centre Harry Newman, who justified our backing with a 5/4 anytime try in that shock Hull defeat, misses out with concussion as Leeds count the cost of head knocks in that loss in East Yorkshire.

All four of the men to miss out – Newman, star winger Ash Handley, and props Tom Holroyd and Sam Lisone, are forced to miss the game through concussion protocols. That has left the Rhinos light, and the club has dipped into the emergency loan market to bring in young Wigan Warriors prop Sam Eseh, while 20-year-old Toby Warren is also given a chance in the first-team squad.

That means Leeds now have an incredible seven players missing through concussion, and are also without first-choice hooker Andy Ackers, James Bentley and Morgan Gannon, who won’t play again this season.

Rookie centre Ned McCormack has also been drafted in, with Ben Littlewood, Alfie Edgell and Jack Sinfield also included.

Leigh are in much better shape and had both Gareth O’Brien and Matty Davies back in their side for that famous win in the south of France, although the former does miss out on the trip east of the Pennines.

Boss Adrian Lam has been monitoring the recoveries of key forwards Robbie Mulhern and John Asiata, who are now also closing in on returns.

It is no coincidence that Leigh's upturn in form has come with the return of so many players who were missing at the start of the season.

Handicap 3-way Alternative 1: Leigh Leopards -6 @ 8/5

Leeds are at their lowest ebb of the season and will hope an emotional night paying tribute to Rob Burrow can help propel an upturn in fortunes on the pitch. Headingley will be packed to say goodbye to their iconic number seven, and a big crowd in LS6 normally stirs a big performance.

But this Leeds team is a shambles, and boss Smith had no way back after the loss at Hull and the manner of that capitulation. So the Rhinos have no head coach for this fixture, no depth in squad from which to pick from, and will be firing purely on positive fumes to try to tackle a Leopards side that has found some form.

Leigh were good value for their win at a strangely subdued Catalans side at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, and I feel they will maintain that momentum on a special night in Leeds to come away with another win.

A passionate Leeds crowd could help keep this one competitive, but it is hard to call a home win, and I am looking at Leigh by upwards of six points on the handicap at 8/5 (an implied probability of 38.5%).

Leigh -6 @ 8/5

Umyla Hanley Anytime Tryscorer @ 10/11

Leeds look light all over the pitch so Leigh are going to get a lot of scoring chances in this game. The wise money is always out wide, and in Umyla Hannley and Josh Charnley the Leopards have two of the best strike wingers in the British game right now.

I fancy both to score in this one, and both are 10/11 to score at any time but I'm plumping for Hanley in a split decision.

Umyla Hanley anytime tryscorer @ 10/11

You can read all our latest Rugby League Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights Rugby League content hub.

Share Article

(Visited 265 times, 1 visits today)