Rankin confident Huddersfield can raise their game for Leeds clash once again

Huddersfield fullback Jordan Rankin hopes that the Giants’ recent trend of producing their best against local rivals Leeds continues tonight.

Following the disappointment of last week’s Challenge Cup exit to Catalans, the Giants head to Emerald Headingley looking to solidify their place in the top eight – while also dragging the Rhinos further into the mire in the bottom half of the table.

And Rankin insists that, after a number of strong performances against Leeds in recent years, that can continue tonight.

He said: “We always get up for games against Leeds – but Salford have always had the rub over us in recent years and I guess we’re a bit like that with Leeds.

“You just know there’s going to be a battle against them, and like I say, you just always seem to get up for these games.”

Rankin also insists there is no panic among the Giants’ ranks despite the manner in which they exited the cup last week, following an underwhelming performance in Simon Woolford’s first official game in charge.

“The cup didn’t go the way we wanted to but for the rest of the year now, it’s about picking up as many points as we can,” he said.

“There’s plenty we can work on, which is a positive in a way. Having said that, our defence was pretty good last week – to only concede two tries is pleasing in that aspect, but we just didn’t hold on to the ball for long enough. But we’ll look to rectify a few things this week.

“We’ve had a good week to prepare for Leeds, and we’re not going to change too much.”

The Rhinos have lost three consecutive games in Super League and fell to seventh on Thursday courtesy of Wakefield’s win over Wigan – but Rankin is refusing to underestimate the reigning champions despite their form.

“Leeds have lost a fair few players but they’re a very unpredictable team,” he said.

“They’ve got a good squad and a good amount of players in key positions still that will make them difficult. Especially at home, they’re going to be a side who will be tough to deal with and we’ll have to give them the respect they deserve as reigning champions of the competition.”