Super League: Huddersfield Giants v Bradford Bulls preview
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 19/07/14 6:58am
Bradford make the short trip to Huddersfield on Sunday knowing that a defeat at the John Smith's Stadium will confirm their Super League relegation.
The Bulls have lost their last six games and a seventh on the bounce would make the inevitable, official.
Having been on the receiving end of two thrashings from Huddersfield already this season, including a 54-16 loss at the Magic Weekend, things look bleak.
The visitors can take encouragement from last season’s 43-18 victory in the corresponding fixture and the fact that the Giants have lost their last two.
Indeed, those two defeats, away at Castleford and at home to Salford, have seen Paul Anderson’s men drop down to sixth in the standings, six points off the top having been right in the title mix.
Despite that, the Giants make just one change to their squad from the Tigers loss with Danny Brough returning after an ankle injury. The skipper replaces Jack Miller and Eorl Crabtree is confident that the team can bounce back.
"We were very disappointed after the Castleford game. But there were some positives," he said.
“The young lads that came in were fantastic for us. Jake Connor is a brilliant player who is only going to get better. Grixy has shown him the ropes and he’s a great prospect for the future."
Meanwhile, Bulls' new head coach James Lowes makes two alternations to his 19 after last weekend’s 46-22 defeat at St Helens.
Winger Luke George comes in to face his former club in place of Danny Williams and utility forward Chev Walker is also in the squad, Nathan Conroy the man to miss out.
George admitted he was excited at the prospect of lining up against the Giants, even if he may not have the full support of his father for the match.
“My dad played for them so there will be split loyalties for him on Sunday and for my family, but my priority is crystal clear," he said.
“I would love to get a run out and the focus is firmly fixed on getting the two points. We want to put together a good run of the results, as we enter the latter stages of the season."
Huddersfield Giants: McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ferres, Bailey, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta'ai, Wood, Broughton, Kaufusi, Mullally, Johnson, Connor, Leeming.
Bradford Bulls: Blythe, Pitts, Olbison, Purtell, Gale, George, Donaldson, O'Brien, Mellor, Henry, Walker, Arundel, Kearney, Foster, Addy, Gaskell, Sidlow, Manuokafoa, Fakir.