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Rupert Wyman 31st Jul 2009 - 11:01

Rhinos hungry for a win against the Wolves

The Leeds Rhinos were shocked by the Wigan Warriors last week as Wigan came back from a half-time deficit and Leeds failed to score a single point after the break. The Rhinos are once again favourites in the betting to win at 1/4 as they welcome former boss Tony Smith and his Warrington Wolves side to Headingley.

Smith left the Rhinos in 2007 after winning the Grand Final, to take up his position as England Head Coach. The Australian was very successful in the Headingley hot seat as he became the first coach to lead the Rhinos to two championships including leading them to their first in 32 years when Leeds won the title in 2004, in his first season in charge.

Smith still has all the qualities that led him to all the success with the Rhinos as he has managed to turn around the Warrington Wolves' fortunes since he joined the club back in March. The Wire started the season with five straight losses in the Super League but gradually Smith has turned it around, as since those first five matches Warrington have only lost a further six times in 20 matches in all competitions.

However, two of those losses have come in the last three matches and to make things worse for Warrington two of their players, Ben Harrison and Chris Bridge, were arrested on suspicion of affray after celebrating last week's win over Salford.

The pair are in this week's squad for the trip to Headingley but it remains to be seen if their minds will be fully focussed on taking on the Rhinos.

With Warrington not recently reaching the peaks they have earlier this season then it is hard to back them at 11/4 to come away from Headingley with the points, despite Tony Smith no doubt wanting to show his coaching prowess once again in front of the Rhinos home faithful.

The main handicap line gives Warrington a ten-point start with both sides priced at 10/11 and the draw 14/1 but even this handicap might not be enough to stop the Rhinos as they seek to put their title challenge right back on track.

An alternative handicap sees Leeds give up 14 points and this looks a better bet with the Rhinos priced at 13/10.

Leeds will welcome back Brent Webb after the full-back missed last week's defeat at Wigan through injury. While Warrington will be without centre Matt King who injured his hamstring in training and Paul Wood who broke his leg against Salford last week. On a more positive note Tony Smith has Paul Rauhihi and Vinnie Anderson available again after they missed the Salford match as well as Richie Mathers who returns from suspension.

Webb is priced at 12/1 to return with a bang and cross the line first at Headingley. Webby is also the same price to score the last try of the match and this would be the preference as it looks a generous price for the New Zealand international.

Super League's leading try scorer, Ryan Hall, is a 10/1 shot to open the scoring but he hasn't crossed the line in the last three matches and could be best avoided at the price.

As Tony Smith makes his return to Headingley make sure you join us throughout the match as we will have a wide range of in-play betting opportunities available on this fascinating Super League encounter.

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