Trinity will host Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos and meet with them for the second time this 2019 campaign, in an Easter Monday extravaganza – after a triumphant 35-18 victory away at The Emerald Headingley Stadium at the beginning of last month.
This fixture becomes the second of Trinity’s action-packed Easter schedule, with another
local derby to conclude one of the shortest turnarounds. Trinity will be aiming to return to
winning ways after being edged by Castleford Tigers in Thursday night’s derby, despite a
spirited second half comeback.
Leeds Rhinos will be looking to capitalise on their emphatic 38-18 victory against
Huddersfield Giants on Good Friday, and out to avenge Trinity for their previous encounter.
Glorious weather has been forecast for the afternoon, and it is set to be a tough battle between the two sides, who are both in need of the two league points on offer.
Trinity head coach Chris Chester has made some changes to his 19-man squad ahead of
Monday’s fixture where youngster Jack Croft and winger Lee Kershaw come into the team,
and will make their potential debuts if selected, as Matty Ashurst and Joe Arundel drop out due to injury.
David Fifita has also been included, despite an injury late on in the Castleford clash, and both Chris Annakin and Justin Horo retain their places, as they were not selected for Thursday’s match. Mason Caton-Brown will also be set to make his second home debut at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, hoping to replicate his outstanding performance against the Tigers, and Ben Reynolds will also be ready for an awaited home debut.
Trinity will be aiming to get off to better start this time round, as Chester admitted his side let themselves with too much work to do. A second half revival and great team spirit however meant Trinity were only fell short by two points and the final score-lined finished 28-26, which will have instilled them with the confidence and belief needed for Monday’s game, despite having it tough with injuries currently.
Opposition – The Rhinos
The eight times Super League champions moved off the bottom of the table on points
difference after their impressive win over the Giants, and head coach Dave Furner has named
an unchanged 19-man squad, which shows he is confident that his side can repeat the
performance they delivered on Good Friday.
It has been an uncharacteristic start for the Rhinos in 2019 however, producing only three
wins out of eleven. Two of their three wins have come in recent weeks too, including a
remarkable last-gasp 21-20 victory against Castleford and a convincing Good Friday derby
win – as well as an emphatic 78-6 cup win over Workington Town. They appear to have
found progressive form ahead of this Easter Monday clash.
One to watch and Tongan international Konrad Hurrell has remained in contention for
Monday’s game, despite suffering a hamstring problem on Good Friday. Trinity will also be looking out for dangerous half-back pairing Richie Myler and Tui Lolohea, skipper Kallum Watkins, as well as wingers Tom Briscoe and Ash Handley. Crafty hooker Matt Parcell is another one to watch, as is veteran Jamie Jones-Buchanan.
Trinity have already met with the Rhinos once this season, emerging victorious, 35-18. In
2018, Trinity faced Leeds twice in the regular season, clinching a draw away at Headingley, but agonisingly losing 26-28 at home.
But this shows that Trinity are capable of pushing the previous Champions, for while Trinity claimed 5th spot in the table last year, Leeds found themselves battling it out in the Qualifiers.
A thrilling 38-6 win was also registered against the Rhinos in the 2017 Super 8s, as Leeds
then went on to become Grand Final winners