Huddersfield Giants can move within two points of the top four if they secure victory tonight, but they will have a tough task on their hands, as they take on in-form Wigan Warriors at the John Smiths Stadium.
The Warriors’ young clutch of stars were outstanding during their 25-4 victory over Salford last time out, as Shaun Wane’s men coped admirably without the likes of Sean O’Loughlin, Blake Green and even Michael McIlorum – who was withdrawn during the first-half of that game due to injury. That knee injury has forced him out of the trans-Pennine clash this evening, but skipper O’Loughlin is set to hand the Warriors a huge boost by returning to the setup.
As for the Giants, they will be without forward Craig Kopczak as they look to bounce back from last Friday’s heavy defeat to St Helens, with Jodie Broughton also missing due to the injury he suffered at Magic Weekend. With Giants captain Danny Brough admitting they ‘let people down’ last weekend, expect the Giants to up their game in front of the Sky cameras this evening.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Ferres, Chan, Bailey, Lawrence, Patrick, Faiumu, Ta’ai, Wood, Mullally, Blackmore.
Wigan Warriors: Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Burke, Crosby, Dudson, C. Farrell, Gelling, Goulding, Hampshire, Hughes, James, Manfredi, O’Loughlin, S. Powell, Smith, Sutton, Taylor, Williams.
Gil Dudson needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career. Dudson has played 42 games for Wigan since 2012, and was previously with Crusaders – where he made 13 appearances (2009-2011). He has also played loan/dual-registration games for South Wales Scorpions (23, 2010-2012), Halifax (2, 2011) and Workington (2, 2014); and has represented Wales 17 times (2008-2013).
Danny Brough has the longest scoring streak amongst Super League players, having registered points in the Giants’ last 18 games. His run of consecutive scoring appearances began with all of his side’s points (one try, two goals) in a 22-8 home play-off defeat by Wigan last September.
With so many stars returning to the fold, expect the Warriors to open up a hefty gap between them and the Giants this evening. Away win.