LIONS v EDINBURGH, PREVIEW

Friday September 10, 2021
LEICESTER can effectively secure their place in the Championship play-offs with a win at home to Edinburgh on Saturday (7pm).

The Watling JCB Lions were rained-off at Redcar on Friday and dropped to fifth in the table as a result of Scunthorpe defeating leaders Poole in their final regular fixture to move onto 33 points.

That is the mark the Lions will also reach if they beat the Monarchs at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena, and having already moved out of reach of Berwick, Plymouth and Newcastle, their race-points difference advantage is such that 33 points would almost certainly be enough to finish above both Scunthorpe and Kent, neither of whom can exceed that total.

The main job on Saturday is to get the better of an Edinburgh side who have had an up and down spell but appear some way stronger than in recent weeks.

A strong heat-leader trio incudes former Lions star Richie Worrall, who returned from injury with a 14-point haul in Friday’s KO Cup win over Birmingham, and track specialist Sam Masters - and the lower order has recently been strengthened by the signings of Anders Rowe and Drew Kemp.

The visitors bring in Jordan Jenkins to guest at reserve with Nathan Greaves having recently retired.

For the Lions, Nick Morris lines up in the No.1 race-jacket with Hans Andersen reverting to No.5, with Ryan Douglas and Kyle Howarth teaming up in the middle order.

And boss Stewart Dickson expects a tough test despite his side’s impressive recent form – being mindful of the fact that the Monarchs proved to be one of the best visitors to Leicester in 2019 when they raced into an early six-point lead before the Lions roared back to win 47-42.

Dickson said: “We’re now up to +6 in terms of away points gained over home points lost, which makes things look a lot more comfortable, but I’m never fully satisfied, and we do want more points away!

“At the moment I’m not looking beyond Saturday because this is going to be a hard one. Masters, Worrall and (Josh) Pickering is a great top three, and I expect a very tough encounter.

“But the way we’re racing, we’ve upped our game in the last three or four weeks, and if we ride to what we can then it’s another meeting we should win.”

LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Dan Thompson, Ryan Douglas, Kyle Howarth, Hans Andersen, Joe Thompson, Zaine Kennedy.
EDINBURGH: Sam Masters, Anders Rowe, Kye Thomson, Josh Pickering, Richie Worrall, Drew Kemp, Jordan Jenkins.




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