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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, play-offs week 1
Jon Wells praised St Helens' power and Wolves' defence as they progressed in the play-offs.
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
- Morley expects exciting clash
- Hull FC v Dragons: Teams
- Play-off form guide
- Crabtree: A Giant opening