Huddersfield Giants welcome Hull Kingston Rovers to the John Smith’s Stadium, knowing that a win would take them off the foot of the Super League table.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
After their first win of the season against Wigan Warriors a fortnight ago, Huddersfield came crashing back down to earth at the hands of league leaders St. Helens, who beat them rather comfortably last time out. The Giants have won just one of their six matches.
Hull Kingston Rovers
With three wins from seven games, KR have enjoyed a much better start to 2019 and a large victory could potentially see them catapulted above Salford into fourth spot – but they would need to win by 53 points.
Similarly to last season, Huddersfield are running short of fit first team players, with eight out injured for at least a week.
Simon Woolfood can therefore only name 19 men in his squad to face Rovers and will have to dig into the Giants academy for backup.
Huddersfield 19-man squad: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Mellor, Lawrence, Roberts, Ta’ai, English, Ikahihifo, Hewitt, L. Senior, I. Senior, Joe Wardle.
Hull Kingston Rovers
Former Giants player Shaun Lunt has been included in KR’s squad for the first time this season – the hooker had been out since pre-season.
Prop Robbie Mulhern joins the 31-year-old, who has been sidelined whilst recovering from bacterial meningitis, in the squad for the short trip west across Yorkshire.
Hull Kingston Rovers 19-man squad: Hall, Keinhorst, Shaw, McGuire, Mulhern, Lunt, Masoe, Tomkins, Hauraki, Lee, Atkin, Vaivai, Addy, Lawler, Drinkwater, Oakes, Dagger, Rooks, Bardle
HEAD TO HEAD
The Giants fell to two heavy defeats against their Yorkshire rivals in 2018, losing 6-38 on home soil before being hammered 37-10 at KCOM Craven Park in June.
Scoring just three tries across the two matches, Huddersfield found themselves falling way short of ideas in attack against a KR side that seemed to have sussed them out from the first whistle.
Rovers, on the other hand, crossed the whitewash six times in each meeting so, if the Giants are not on top of their game tomorrow night, KR look destined for another triumph.
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) vs Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers)
Despite having missed the fist few games of 2019 through injury, Jermaine McGillvary is already Huddersfield’s top try scorer of the campaign thus far. The winger scored at KCOM Craven Park back in June, but was unable to cross in this fixture last year. He needs to play well for the Giants to stand a chance.
Shaw, on the other hand, claimed a brace home and away against the Giants last season. Add to that his 13 goals/conversions and he racked up an incredible 42 points against Huddersfield in 2018 – more than any other player. On his day, Shaw is a match winner and the travelling KR faithful will be hoping he can produce once again.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 22nd March 2019
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
Referee: Greg Dolan
WHO WILL WIN?
Looking at the starts both sides have made to Super League this year, it is hard to see past Hull KR walking away from the John Smith’s with another win under their belt. But the Giants have been improving of late – as signified by the first 60 minutes against St. Helens last time out. However, after last season’s results and both teams’ close seasons, I can’t envisage anything other than a KR win: 12-24 is what I’ll go for.