On Thursday night Huddersfield Giants welcome Castleford Tigers to the John Smiths Stadium, looking to halt the free-scoring league leaders and back up their win over Leeds Rhinos last week.

Last Time Out

Huddersfield Giants came out on top over local rivals Leeds Rhinos in their last outing and the victory can be put down to the fact they simply wanted it more. It wasn’t a classic encounter as they were on the right side of a 31-12 score line, keeping their opponents scoreless in the second period. Danny Brough was allowed to dictate the game with the boot, and although Ikahihifo claimed the man of the match award Kruise Leeming impressed for the Giants at hooker.

Castleford Tigers responded to back-to-back defeats in emphatic style as they hammered Wigan Warriors 54-4 to stay top of the Super League table. They are playing some incredible football this year with Luke Gale pulling the strings as he crossed for another try and added eight goals. Questions were raised on their title credentials after defeats to St Helens and Hull FC, but they will have silenced the critics with this display.

Key Battle

The key to this game will be Castleford’s ability to cope without their trio of international stars, as Gale, Zak Hardaker and Mike McMeeken have all been called up to the England squad for their Pacific Test with Samoa. All three have played a huge part in their success so far, especially Gale, and it will be interesting to see how they will cope without their talisman.

The Giants will be looking to use the momentum from their victory last week to pick up an upset win against the early pace setters. If they are to avoid the bottom four for a second consecutive year they will need to start putting wins together as they sit three points off the top eight.

Prediction

Huddersfield will be confident after the win over Leeds but the Tigers should be too strong as they go head-to-head in front of the Sky cameras. Castleford Tigers by 30.

Squads

Huddersfield Giants 19 man squad: Jake Mamo, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough,  Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Paul Clough, Nathan Mason, Daniel Smith, Gene Ormsby, Sam Wood, Darnell McIntosh, Jared Simpson, Alex Mellor, Adam O’Brien

Castleford Tigers 19 man squad: Rangi Chase, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Kieran Gill, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Greg Minikin, Adam Milner, Joel Monaghan, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Gadwin Springer, Michael Shenton, Jake Webster

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My name is Sean Hayes. I am from Widnes, England. I am currently studying journalism at Salford University. Aspiring sports journalist and rugby league fanatic whether it is watching, playing or writing about the greatest game! Follow me on twitter @SHayesNBL