After losing their opening two games of the 2019 season, Huddersfield Giants face the daunting task of hosting Warrington Wolves at the John Smith’s Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Giants have failed to maintain their impressive form from the end of last year, losing their first two Super League matches this season and sit bottom of the table.
Defeats against Salford and Catalans mean that the injury-hit Giants are in desperate need of a victory.
Things could not be more different for Warrington. Consecutive wins have fired them to the league summit and, with another two points tonight, they will continue to set the pace.
The Giants have a huge boost for tonight’s game as star winger Jermaine McGillvary returns to the squad after recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined so far this campaign.
Ukuma Ta’ai is also in line to make his first appearance of the season. Visa issues had prevented the Prop from playing in the first two games of 2019.
Hull KR 19-man squad:
McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, Lawrence, O’Brien, Roberts, Ta’ai, English, Grix, Ikahihifo, Walne, Wardle.
Head coach Steve Price makes a single change to the side that beat Hull KR last time out. Toby King is back from his one-match suspension and replaces Sitaleki Akauola in the squad.
Salford’s 19-man squad:
Atkins, Austin, Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Cooper, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Livett, Mamo, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Tasi, Walker.
HEAD TO HEAD
Despite poor form away from home, Huddersfield have won the last two meetings between the sides on home turf, hammering the Wolves 44-4 back in 2017 before a 20-6 win in February last year.
The last time the sides met was at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as Warrington edged out a thrilling contest by a single goal, winning the tremendous battle 26-24.
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield) v Josh Charnley (Warrington)
After scoring a crucial try against Hull Kingston Rovers in his last Super League game, Charnley will be fully expected to cross the whitewash again this evening, maybe more than once. The winger’s footwork and ability to finish even the most difficult of chances make him one of the best in the country.
McGillvary, however, might have something to say about that. Having just returned from injury, the Giants’ star man may not be firing on all cylinders, but if he does somehow find his form from the back end of 2018, Huddersfield may have a chance to cause somewhat of a shock.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 22nd February
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
Referee: James Child
WHO WILL WIN?
After such a poor start, it is hard to envisage the Giants taking anything away from the Haliwell Jones this evening. That being said, their determination and team ethic make them tough to beat. Add to that the return of their star player and we could be in for a shock. I can’t see it though.
Prediction: Huddersfield Giants 8-28 Warrington Wolves