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Rugby League: Leeds must hope for a swift change in fortune [Feb. 24th, 2010|05:06 pm]
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Their head honcho Gary Hetherington is convinced that Leeds' lousy form going into the World Club Challenge has nothing to do with skipping warm-weather training this year.

Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? It was his decision that the team's contribution to cost-cutting at Headingley would be wintering in Cumbria, rather than Florida.

The chief exec is adamant that his team is well ahead of schedule in its fitness and general preparation. That isn't the way it has looked from the sidelines. Not only have Leeds lost to Wakefield and Castleford, they have also been deeply unconvincing in wins over Crusaders and Salford.

It doesn't sound like the ideal preparation for facing Melbourne - Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith and all.

And yet history shows that it is possible to suddenly recapture form in situations like this. Remember how bad St Helens were three years ago.

They lost two of their first three and were all over the place, but then they threw in Paul Sculthorpe at the Reebok and beat Brisbane.

The trouble is that Leeds don't have a wild card like Scully, but they do have an awful lot of good players who are due to hit their straps. If they can do that, it could be a game to remember at Elland Road.