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MATCH PREVIEW | Huddersfield Giants vs Catalans Dragons

Huddersfield Giants host the Catalans Dragons knowing that only a win will secure their Super League status for 2020.

 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield were on the receiving end of yet another hammering last time out, losing 48-6 to St. Helens.

The Giants conceded eight tries, with Luke Thompson scoring twice and Lachlan Coote converting with a 100% success rate.

Catalans Dragons

Catalans also shipped two short of double figures in tries as they fell to a 46-12 defeat to Wigan Warriors.

The French side showed promise when Michael McIlorum and Lewis Tierney crossed, but a stunning hattrick from Bevan French cancelled their scores out on its own.

SQUAD NEWS

Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield are without injured loose forward Michael Lawrence for their crucial final game of 2019.

Tom Holmes and Sam Hewitt are also unavailable, but Aaron Murphy, Oliver Roberts and Matt Frawley all make the nineteen.

Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: McIntosh, McGillvary, Gaskell, Frawley, Clough, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, O’Brien, Roberts, Ta’ai, Jake Wardle, Ikahihifo, Walne, L Senior, Wittrick, Kirby, Wilson, Butler.

 

Catalans Dragons

Catalans are without Remi Casty who will be in a splint for an estimated five weeks after an x-ray confirmed a fracture in his hand from the 46-12 loss to Wigan.

The Dragons have another seven first-team regulars on the injury list: Matt Whitley, David Mead, the departing Tony Gigot, Fouad Yaha, Sam Moa, Kenny Edwards and Jodie Broughton.

However, Ben Garcia is back from suspension, while scrum-half Arthur Mourgue may make a first appearance of the season to strengthen a weakened squad.

Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, McIlorum, Garcia, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien, Da Costa, Goudemand, Belmas, Albert, Maria, Baitieri, Romano, Mourgue, Kasiano, Tomkins.

 

2019 HEAD TO HEAD

The Giants have lost both games against last year’s Challenge Cup winners, with the French side winning 27-10 in Perpignan back in February, before July’s meeting saw the Dragons take the two points back over the channel following a 32-28 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.

 

KEY BATTLE

Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) vs Brayden Williame (Catalans Dragons)

McGillvary has had arguably his worst season in a Giants shirt, yet he is still their top try scorer. The England international may not have hit the blistering heights we all know he is capable of week in, week out, but his quality and importance to his team is undying. Often Huddersfield’s only out-ball, he may need to produce his biggest performance of 2019 to secure the Giants’ safety.

Wiliame may not always play pretty rugby, but he knows his job and knows it well. Often a formidable opponent, the versatile Fiji international – who can play on the wing as well as centre, full back and second-row – causes his opposite numbers no end of discomfort, so expect another hard-hitting ruthless showing from him tonight.

 

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday 13th September 2019
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Ben Thaler

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Sorry Giants fans, this may not be an easy read. The quality of the squad is there, but I can’t recall a spell in the season when they showed any kind of consistency which has almost always been punished. Mistake after mistake have seen the Yorkshire side slumped at the wrong end of the table all campaign and I don’t see anything changing tonight. Catalans will be out to prove a point after dismantling being dismantled at Wigan last week and they simply have superior quality, even with half a starting lineup out injured. Defeat for Huddersfield could send them down, and I think it will. Dragons to win: 16-22.

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