Ian Millward: Storm brewing
Ian Millward previews this weekend's remaining crucial action in Super League and the NRL.
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I still think the Rhinos are the second best team in the play-offs - despite last week's defeat at Warrington. I was a little worried about how they tired in the second-half at the DW Stadium but they are in a better place this year than last season in terms of personnel to call on.
They will be wary of Saints here - you have to be - they've won seven out of eight and are on a real roll. Leeds proved last year you can win this competition from fifth spot and James Roby, the best hooker in the competition, is pulling all the strings.
Make no mistake St Helens are a threat but I'm with Leeds to win and cover. There's plenty of play-off know-how in Brian McDermott's squad and a big Headingley crowd can get them over the finish line.
Cronulla's main player Todd Carney looks extremely doubtful for this one and if he's out they lose so much attacking flair and organisation across the park. Manly had an energy sapping game last week against the Roosters, losing 4-0 in one of the best matches I've seen for a very long time.
The Sea Eagles are one of the toughest teams in the NRL and if the game last week hasn't emptied them I'll take them to bounce back and win convincingly here. At the time of writing full-back Brett Stewart is rated a 50-50 chance to make the game. If he shakes off his hamstring problem I'd make Manly good things.
The defending premiers are renowned for producing professional, hard-nosed performances when it matters but that hasn't been the case of late. They were slowly out the blocks when beaten by South Sydney last week and know they need to be sharper here.
However they can still call on the best full-back, Billy Slater, half-back Cooper Cronk and hooker Cameron Smith in the game and they should have too much for the Knights.
The visitors have more players aged 30 or over in their squad than any others side in the NRL and I can only see a comfortable win for the hosts here.