Challenge Cup preview: Warrington Wolves v Huddersfield Giants
Last Updated: 14/07/13 3:35pm
Super League high flyers Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants lock horns at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday with a place in the Challenge Cup semi-final at stake.
The hosts enter the last-eight clash in a rich vein of form having won their last six matches in all competitions while the Giants travel north with three consecutive victories under their belt.
Wolves coach Tony Smith has only made one change to the 19-man squad which edged their way past Leeds Rhinos to earn a 19-18 victory last weekend.
The lone switch sees centre Ryan Atkins left out of the match-day squad and replaced by winger Rhys Williams as the hosts continue their campaign for a ninth Challenge Cup crown.
With Wolves sat one point below the Giants in the Super League standings there is little to choose between the pair and Wolves forward Garreth Carvell expects a close encounter this weekend.
"It's so exciting," he said. "If you come and perform just for that one week you are through to the next round so it's anyone's game.
"They've just leapfrogged us in the table as well and they are where they deserve to be; they've been brilliant all year and it's something we are not taking lightly.
"Previous form and previous games all go out of the window, the Challenge Cup is a knock out competition and we don't want to be knocked out."
Meanwhile Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson has made two changes to the side which beat Hull FC 22-16 last time out.
Prop Craig Kopczak makes his returns to the Giants 19 after a spell out with an arm injury meaning there is no place for 19-year-old Josh Johnson.
Giants Challenge Cup so far
Round 4: Batley Bulldogs 4-13 Giants
Round 5: Giants 24-8 Leeds Rhinos
Anderson has opted for Anthony Mullally for the trip west with hooker Kyle Wood missing out on the knockout fixture.
Whilst acknowledging his side are in strong form, Anderson is leaving no room for complacency ahead of the winner takes all fixture.
"Our collective desire and resolve is evident and if you look at the try we scored to win it, it's just will to win," the coach added.
"We've got a collective desire to work for each other which is great. We will need that same effort and commitment we saw at Hull to beat Warrington at the weekend and more.
"We're confident on what we're about. The Challenge Cup it's not about performance, it's about winning; it's as simple as that."
Warrington squad: Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Grix, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Morley, Ratchford, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Williams, Wood.
Huddersfield squad: Grix, George, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Ferguson, Mullally.
2013 Challenge Cup quarter-finals
Phil Clarke looks at how Warrington were able to conquer Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup quarters.
Barrie McDermott says Wigan's current side may match the dominant team of the early 1990s for quality.
Shaun Wane feels his Wigan side are getting back to their best after they demolished Widnes at the DW Stadium.
- Warriors cruise into semis
- Warrington handed Hull semi
- Wolves roar into semi-finals
- Warriors v Vikings: Teams
- McDonnell stars in Hull win
- Dragons v Hull FC: Teams
- Henderson plotting cup upset
- Eagles v Broncos: Teams
- Ellis escapes cup suspension
- Tomkins cup doubt for Wigan
- Ellis facing Cup suspension
- Challenge hopefuls