Scott Donald is a welcome return to the Rhinos squad after being sidelined for the last couple of games. Bluey will be hoping that with a twelve month contract extension stuffed in his pocket, he can recapture his form of 2008 after a disappointing start to this campaign. Kallum Watkins is also back in the nineteen named yesterday ahead of Saturday nights' clash but I expect he is unlikely to figure.
The full nineteen to face a resurgent and confident Giants side is; Webb, Donald, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Gibson, and Watkins. These lads have a lot to prove to themselves and the fans after what can only be considered a debacle over the Easter weekend.
The Giants are on fire and have won their last six on the bounce. They last lost by just four points at home to Hull FC on March 6th and have been excellent value for their lofty league position. New coach Nathan Brown has galvanised his side and although there has been some turnover in playing staff he still has the same nucleus of players that has disappointed in recent years.
His ninteen is; Hodgson (B), Aspinwall, Brown, Whaturia, Hodgson (D), Robinson, Crabtree, Faiumu, Griffin (D), Lolesi, Wild, Finnigan, Jackson, Mason, Kirmond, Lawrence, Moore, Cudjoe, and Lunt. A team with no superstars but an amazing team spirit, they really should be no match for the back-to-back Champions.
Three Giants to watch;
The Rhinos have traditionally had a good record against the Giants. We won both of last seasons encounters easily with a 30-10 win at the Galpharm in February, backed up with an even more comfortable 26-08 win at Headingley in July. We also won both league games in 2007, 2006 and 2005, although the Huddersfield side did win that 2006 Challenge Cup semi-final much to the rugby league worlds' collective shock.
Our last visit to the Galpharm wasn't a happy one as the occasion saw last years Challenge Cup semi-final exit at the hands of St. Helens.
I'm tipping the Giants to pick up the points tomorrow night and increase the pain on a Rhinos side that is obviously suffering at the moment. We have Thierry Alibert back in the box after his 'video nasty' on Friday night at Odsal and after watching that one back again in the cold light of day he can surely only feel some sympathy for the visitors.
The weather for tomorrow looks pretty nice but as the sun drops so will the temperature. The game will just be over as the sun is setting so take something warm. There ios very little chance of any rain.
The bookies given the Giants a six point start on the coupon and I'd be bighting their hand off at that.
See you there, enjoy the game. I hope that I'm wrong.