Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Bradford and Leeds will renew their rivalry as they go head-to-head for the Super League title in this weekends Grand Final at Old Trafford. The two sides, who finished first and second in the table, have been the benchmarks of Super League IX.
Leeds dominated the regular season, beating the Bulls three times in a row.
But Bradford hit back to claim a potentially crucial psychological boost in the play-offs, with a 26-12 victory over the Rhinos.
The Rhinos, who have not won the title since 1972, are at full strength for the final match of the domestic season.
Veteran forward Dave Furner made a timely return from a long-standing knee injury in the final eliminator against Wigan.
And scrum-half Andrew Dunemann has shaken off the knee injury which kept him out of that match.
Nevertheless, Rhinos coach Tony Smith is keeping his selection plans close to his chest.
"Andrew's back in the frame so we'll pick from 20 and name our team an hour before kick-off," said Smith.
"We'll pick the team that best suits playing Bradford."
Meanwhile, Bradford, making their fourth straight Grand Final appearance, are likely to be without influential stand-off Leon Pryce after he dislocated his shoulder against the Rhinos.
Pryce is expected to be replaced by Paul Johnson, with prop Paul Anderson or back-rower Jamie Langley brought in among the replacements.
Iestyn Harris should play a key role against his former club, while skipper Robbie Paul will continue at hooker.
Squads for Grand Final:
Leeds (from): Mathers, Calderwood, Walker, McKenna, Senior, Bai, McGuire, Dunemann, Bailey, Diskin, Ward, Furner, Lauitiiti, Sinfield (capt), Burrow, Poching McDermott, Jones-Buchanan, McDonald, Adamson.
Bradford (probable): Withers; Reardon, Johnson, Hape, Vainikolo; Harris, Deacon; Vagana, Paul (capt), Fielden, Swann, Peacock, Radford. Subs (from): Pratt, Parker, Langley, Anderson, Moore.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).