Super League Preview: Huddersfield Giants v Hull KR

Date: 5/7/2015

Venue: John Smith’s Stadium

Kick Off: 15:00

Referee: Robert Hicks

Teams:

Huddersfield Giants: 1 Scott Grix, 2 Jermaine McGillvary, 3 Leroy Cudjoe, 4 Joe Wardle, 5 Aaron Murphy,  6 Danny Brough,  7 Luke Robinson, 8 Eorl Crabtree, 10 Craig Huby, 12 Jack Hughes,       14 Michael Lawrence, 15 Craig Kopczak, 16 Kyle Wood, 17 Ukuma Ta’ai, 18 Jodie Broughton,       19 Anthony Mullally, 20 Jamie Ellis, 21 Jacob Fairbank, 31 Jared Simpson

Hull KR: 6 Maurice Blair, 24 John Boudebza, 17 Greg Burke, 2 Ben Cockayne, 1 Kieran Dixon,        20 James Green, 12 Graeme Horne, 7 Albert Kelly, 11 Kevin Larroyer, 31 Shaun Lunt, 13 Tyrone McCarthy, 4 Josh Mantellato, 21 Aaron Ollett, 34 Tony Puletua, 18 Liam Salter, 5 Ken Sio, 32 Dane Tilse, 8 Adam Walker, 19 Kris Welham.

Last 10 Meetings

Hull KR 20-16 Huddersfield (SLR9 6/4/15)

Hull KR 22-26 Huddersfield (SLR18 26/6/14)

Huddersfield 24-24 Hull KR (SLR2 23/2/14)

Hull KR 35-28 Huddersfield (SLR18 7/6/13)

Huddersfield 50-30 Hull KR (SLR12 14/4/13)

Huddersfield 26-44 Hull KR (SLR17 11/6/12)

Hull KR 40-22 Huddersfield (SLR8 25/3/12)

Huddersfield 46-26 Hull KR (SLR23 30/7/11)

Hull KR 16-38 Huddersfield (SLR7 26/3/11)

Huddersfield 16-16 Hull KR (SLR19 25/6/10)

Preview

Hull KR travel to Huddersfield on Sunday for what will be their third game in 11 days.

Rovers scored a dramatic late victory over Salford on Tuesday night having booked their place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals with a win over Catalans Dragons the previous Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ last outing was a win away at Widnes a fortnight ago.

Huddersfield have lost just one of their last nine matches, which has moved them into the top four, while the Robins have also been in good form lately, winning their last four games in league and cup.

However, Chris Chester’s men have lost their last four successive away games, as well as suffering a defeat at Magic Weekend to bitter rivals Hull FC, conceding 199 points in the process.

The hosts are without Brett Ferres, who was handed a two game ban for punching Rhys Hanbury in the 30-22 win at the Select Security Stadium.

Jake Connor and Kruise Leeming also make way from Paul Anderson’s squad, with Scott Grix and Kyle Wood coming back into the 19-man squad.

Giants’ joint leading Super League try scorer this season, Aaron Murphy, also returns having missed the whole of last month with a knee injury.

Rovers head coach Chester has made four changes to the side that defeated the Red Devils in midweek as their busy schedule takes it toll.

Jordan Cox, James Donaldson, James Greenwood and Matty Marsh are the quartet that miss out while Tyrone McCarthy, John Boudebza, Ken Sio and Tony Puletua all come into the provisional squad for Sunday’s game.

Hull KR currently sit just inside the top 8 with four games of the season remaining. However, three of those four games are away from home and Rovers are yet to win outside the city of Hull in Super League so far this season.

They were dealt a huge injury blow last month when skipper Terry Campese was ruled out for the remainder of the season after rupturing his knee ligaments against Castleford Tigers.

Front rower Adam Walker has called on his side to keep their concentration for the Sunday’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium: “I think there’s going to be times in games, especially with the short turn-arounds, where your concentration goes and you can’t keep it 100 per cent for four games straight,” he told Hull Daily Mail.

“We need to switch on because Huddersfield are going to pose a different challenge to us.

“It was always going to be difficult to back it up with the short turn-around, but we all focused on the Salford game and knew what we had to do.

“We were fully prepared with some fresh bodies coming back in and it was great to get the win in the end.

“We’re full of confidence at the minute, winning four on the bounce, and it’s playing a huge part in our games and we’re going really well.

“We’ve now got to recover and prepare for Huddersfield.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield’s Ukuma Ta’ai praised his side’s spirit in beating Widnes two weeks ago, despite the dismissal of Ferres early on: “The spirit within this squad is absolutely fantastic,” the 28 year-old told the Huddersfield Examiner.

“It’s grown and grown throughout the year, and it was there for everyone to see at Widnes the other week.

“Even though we lost Brett (Ferres) early on when he was sent off, we still knew we were good enough to win. All we did was make sure we worked even harder for each other, dug in and ground out the win.

“That was the sign of a quality side and one that fears no-one.

“The confidence wins like this give you is absolutely massive, and it means that we can’t wait to get back out there against Hull KR on Sunday.

“Even though this will be their third game in 10 days, we’re still preparing for a very tough game – there are no easy ones in Super League.

“But we do feel we’re finding our best form when it matters the most, and if we build on our recent successes with an even better performance this weekend, then we know we’re capable of going all the way this year.”

Rovers have a poor record at the John Smith’s Stadium, having won their just once since February 2007, however they did beat Huddersfield by four points at Craven Park earlier this season.

Joe Wardle will make his 100th career Super League appearance while Josh Mantellato will hope to add to his nine tries in his last seven Super League games for the visitors.

Prediction: Giants by 16 – Rovers don’t travel well and are playing their third game in 11 days so it’s hard to see them beating a Giants side who have picked up over the last few weeks. The battle in the halves should be interesting, but a fresh Brough and Robinson should be too much for a weary Kelly and Blair.

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