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03.12.2018 05:56
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A repeat of last years Grand Final, but perhaps not quite in the circumstances people expected when the fixture list came out. Leeds only grabbed their first win this season by beating Huddersfield, but its a different story for Shaun Wanes Wigan who are yet to lose in Super League in 2016.So which way will this one go? We look at two key battles that might decide the outcome… George Williams v Liam Sutcliffe The battle of the future of English half-backs takes place at the DW Stadium on Friday as two of Super Leagues star youngsters face off.George Williams is already one of Super Leagues household names after a terrific 2015. He replaced the outgoing Blake Green and ended the season an England international, having guided Wigan to a Grand Final. Eight tries and a team-high 21 try assists in 2015 shows his importance in attack, but despite a 100% record in 2016, Wigans attack has struggled to gel. George Williams enjoyed a fine 2015 for Wigan Williams has scored just once in Super League and has provided just two assists so far. The stand-off has put in just five attacking kicks too, leaving partner Matty Smith to act the general when it comes to ball hitting the boot. But there were signs of improvement in the win over Hull FC, highlighted in particular by Williams terrific individual try. So can the 21-year-old star help the Wigan attack click into top gear and blow away the Rhinos on Friday?Its been a difficult 2016 so far for Williams rival at stand-off, Liam Sutcliffe. Stepping into skipper Kevin Sinfields shoes in that pivotal role was never going to be easy and thats certainly the way its played out.Sutcliffe struggled in Leeds three defeats and has made nine errors so far, the second most in the Rhinos side. But with two tries and two try assists, things could be looking up. Sutcliffes four-pointer against Huddersfield highlighted why he has Brian McDermotts backing, taking on the line with pace and power to claim an individual score. Liam Sutcliffe has strugged to find the form shown in the first half of last season And any Rhinos fans questioning whether Sutcliffe is the man to replace Sinfield long term need to look back at last season. He was on fire, even keeping the captain out of the team at one stage. He dazzled in the first half of 2015, scoring six tries, making seven try assists and making ten clean breaks.Sutcliffe would have been competing for Williams place in that England side had it not been for that season-ending knee injury. If the stand-off can regain the confidence he showed last season, then Leeds will look a far better side in the process. Watch out for him rediscovering that form against Wigan.Sam Powell v Rob Burrow Hooker is proving a problem position for both Leeds and Wigan this season. Michael McIlorum is expected to miss the rest of the season for the Cherry-and-Whites after a broken ankle, while Leeds new signing Beau Falloon is yet to play for the club after a broken toe.So into McIlorums hefty boots steps Sam Powell. The 23-year-old has been around the Wigan first team for the last three seasons, without ever really nailing down a regular spot. But it looks like hell play the rest of 2016 at hooker.The question is, can he replace McIlorum? A big part of McIlorums game is his tackling. In his two Super League games this season, he made 62, missing just four. But Powells shown hes not afraid to get his hands dirty in the middle, second on Wigans tackling list so far with 155 hits, just behind John Bateman. Hes only missed nine as well. Shaun Wane, Sam Powell, Matty Smith and Ben Flower speak ahead of Fridays match against Leeds Powells kicking game, often needed in the half-back positions, could prove important as well, putting in two attacking kicks. But will he add that extra edge from dummy half, running just six times, level with McIlorums six from his two games? A big ask for Powell in 2016 then, but he can lay down a marker by directing his pack over the Leeds team and on to victory come Friday?Leeds are really struggling at hooker. Paul Aitons season-ending injury left them short last season and his replacement from the Gold Coast Titans, Beau Falloon is yet to play in 2016. So into the role steps Rob Burrow.Its been a tough 2016 for Burrow. Hes also assumed the captaincy while Danny McGuire recovers from injury and subsequently has failed to find his best form. Hes crossed the whitewash just once, provided two try assists and made just two clean breaks. Rhinos prop Mitch Garbutt returns from suspension for the trip to the DW Stadium And with Burrow playing at hooker, Leeds are missing something in defence. He has to defend out wide, making just 29 tackles this season. That means more work for the forwards through the middle.But using Burrow in the hooking role is nothing new for the Rhinos. And with everyone fit, hed be spelling the dummy half role with Falloon anyway. His threat from the play the ball is still a weapon in the Leeds attack, indeed Burrow has run 24 times from dummy half, the fifth-most in Super League. So can Burrow get himself and his troops firing on all cylinders against Wigan? Watch Wigan v Leeds live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Friday from 7.30pm. Catch the match for £6.99 on NOW TV. No contract. Also See: Wane: Wigan must improve WATCH: Top Five Tries! Mitch Garbutt looks ahead to Wigan clash Follow @SkySportsRL Elie Okobo Jersey . Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon. Cheap Basketball Draft Jerseys . 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