By Matthew Sweeting
Leeds Rhinos face Catalan Dragons on Saturday as they look to keep pace with league leaders Castleford.
The Yorkshire side will be without prop Mitch Garbutt after the arrival of his son earlier this week however forward Anthony Mullalley will make an unexpected return after his rib injury has been cleared as not serious.
Rhinos will be hoping to bounce back after a disappointing defeat at home to Huddersfield Giants last Thursday in what could be described as one of the biggest shocks of the season.
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) May 4, 2017
Leeds gave a league debut to 17-year-old Jack Walker, fresh from his hat-trick of tries in last Friday’s Challenge Cup win over Doncaster. The signs are that he could well be involved again this weekend.
Returning prop Aiden Mullalley says: “They come at you hard, especially at home, they’ve always been notorious for a big forward pack, but we’ve got most of our forwards available this week.
“I know we’ve got a couple of lads away with England, but that shouldn’t make a difference – we’ve got people to come in.”
Coach Brian McDermott said: “Catalan are a difficult team to read, sometimes you see a side that at times aren’t that good but they also see Catalan teams that scare you a little bit. We’ll just prepare for the best ones.”
With nearly 1,000 Leeds fans expected to be travelling over to Perpignan for the game it should make for a good atmosphere.
McDermott said: “Its hard to quantify the support, historically we always take a good number over there and seeing our fans gives you a feeling of comfort.”
However there could be disrupted travel for the Rhinos faithful as a Ryanair flight from Leeds Bradford Airport has made an emergency landing in Paris and travelling Leeds fans are expected to be among the passengers.
— YorkshireEveningPost (@LeedsNews) May 5, 2017