Super League play-offs: Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors preview
Last Updated: 12/09/13 9:37pm
The victors of Huddersfield Giants' play-off clash against the Wigan Warriors at the John Smith's Stadium on Thursday will be 80 minutes away from a Grand Final appearance.
It is the League Leaders' Shield winners verses fourth in West Yorkshire, as the Giants seek a third victory over Shaun Wane's men this season.
The Giants toppled Wigan 22-10 at home in February before claiming the spoils in the reverse fixture last month with a 30-12 triumph at the DW Stadium.
However, the Tetley's Challenge Cup winners cannot be underestimated and while their recent Super League form is poor, Wigan are capable of beating anyone on their day.
The Warriors reached the semi-finals last season before losing to eventual winners Leeds and Wane's squad are packed with world-class talent, as are Huddersfield.
The Giants made the play-offs last time around, but fell at the first hurdle losing 46-10 at Hull FC, while Wigan brushed aside the Catalan Dragons before their 13-12 loss to Leeds.
Huddersfield head coach Paul Anderson is set to recall a host of big names for the visit of Wigan after he rested a number of stars for the thrashing at Bradford last time out.
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Giants v Warriors
Key trio Danny Brough, Shaun Lunt and Eorl Crabtree have all been recalled along with Luke Robinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Scott Grix, Craig Kopczak and Brett Ferres.
Ukuma Ta'ai has been named in the squad despite suffering a badly split lip at Bradford Bulls on Saturday, while fellow back-rower Dale Ferguson has now recovered from a knee injury.
"We've got as good a chance as anyone else," Lunt, who helped Leeds win last season's Grand Final while on loan, told the club's official website.
"Obviously the top four get a second bite, but we don't want to have to use that. Ideally we can win on Thursday, then we can have a week off to prepare properly for the semi-finals."
Gil Dudson is available for Wigan after missing their defeat to Leeds, Darrell Goulding is doubtful following a clash of heads with Harrison Hanson in the last game, while Epalahame Lauaki is unavailable.
Iain Thornley (sickness) and Chris Tuson (leg) will be given late fitness tests by Wane before the Warriors boss finalises his team.
"Gil will be fine after missing last week with a shoulder. Epalahame Lauaki is out though. Darrell Goulding is a doubt after a bang on his head last week and he will need the head test at the end of the week," Wane told Wigan's official website.
"Iain Thornley has also gone down with a bug and was in hospital Sunday night so we will check on him. We also need to check on Chris Tuson who had a tweak with a leg problem in training and it will be Wednesday before we are able to finalise our team."
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Chan, Ta'ai, Murphy, Ferguson, Blackmore, Wood.
Wigan Warriors: Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Green, Hansen, Hughes, McIlorum, Mossop, A. Powell, S. Powell, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, S. Tomkins, Tuson.
Huddersfield v Wigan is live on Sky Sports 1 this evening, kick off 8pm.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils20 - 22Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2013, play-offs week 1
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Tony Smith was delighted to see Ben Westwood grab some of the limelight after the Warrington's big win over Leeds.
Adam Swift ran in a hat-trick as St Helens eliminated Hull KR from the Super League play-offs with a 46-10 victory.
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- Jones-Buchanan eyes hat trick
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- Wane: It was a great display
- Wigan rally to stun Giants
- Saints v Hull KR: Teams
- Wolves v Rhinos: Teams
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- Hull FC v Dragons: Teams
- Play-off form guide
- Crabtree: A Giant opening