It is the battle of the bottom two on Friday, as Wakefield Wildcats welcome Huddersfield Giants to Bell Vue off the back of a defeat away to Hull FC, with the black and whites 22-4 victors over the basement club. Huddersfield were also beaten comfortably, as Catalans Dragons ran out 46-26 winners at the John Smith Stadium, a defeat which left coach Paul Anderson smarting.
LAST TIME OUT
It was four straight defeats for Wakefield last weekend as they went down to Hull FC, leaving them bottom of the Super League table. The defeat was watched by new coach Chris Chester, as he was appointed head coach two days prior to the loss following the departure of Brian Smith. Chester guided Hull KR to Wembley last year but was sacked just weeks ago after a poor start to the 2016 campaign. He has a lot to do if he is to guide the club to safety, as their desire and determination in defence was let down by their lack of ability in attack, registering only four points at the KC Stadium.
Huddersfield are in a similar plight, having won just once so far this season and are above their opponents on points difference only. Their coach Paul Anderson was seething with the attitude of his men in their loss to the Dragons, claiming that ‘if people choose to play like that, they won’t be playing for the Giants’. After leading 20-12 at the break, the Giants capitulated in the second period following Joe Wardle’s dismissal for a high tackle on 49 minutes. They went on to lose 46-26, and Anderson will be looking for a reaction on Good Friday.
The key to the outcome of this fixture could lie in the halves. In Danny Brough, Huddersfield have one of the division’s best talents on his day, and when he reaches top form he can win games alone. He should be joined by new signing Ryan Brierley, as he completed his move from Leigh Centurions, and the exciting young halfback will add an extra dimension to the Giants’ attack. For Wakefield, they need Jacob Miller and Liam Finn to stand up and lead their men forward. They are both talented players but have shown very little to back that claim up so far this season, so Chris Chester will be hopeful they can finally perform this time out.
With the return of Danny Kirmond and Scott Moore, Wakefield will have a lot more to offer this week and could be rallied by Chris Chester in his first game in charge. The Giants will have been on the wrong end of an ear bashing in the week, and their ability to bounce back and prove they are fit to represent the club will be tested. Ultimately, the visitors should have enough to see off their opponents. Huddersfield Giants by 10.
Wakefield Wildcats 19 man squad:
Danny Kirmond and Scott Moore make a timely return from injury to give the club a boost over a busy Easter schedule. Reece Lyne and Ben Jones-Bishop also come into the squad, as they replace Scott Anderson, Anthony England, Anthony Walker and Andy Yates.
Chris Annakin, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson, Craig Hall, Stuart Howarth, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Danny Kirmond, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Jonny Molloy, Scott Moore, Nick Scruton, Mickael Simon, Mikey Sio, Anthony Tupou
Huddersfield Giants 19 man squad:
Paul Anderson has been forced to make three changes to his line-up, as Eorl Crabtree picked up an injury last week, Joe Wardle has been handed a two match suspension and loanee Jordan Tansey is ineligible. In come Craig Ruby, Jared Simpson and new signing Ryan Brierley.
Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Craig Huby, Michael Lawrence, Larne Patrick, Kyle Wood, Sam Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jake Connor, Josh Johnson, Kruise Leeming, Nathan Mason, Oliver Roberts, Jared Simpson, Jamie Foster, Ryan Brierley
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