Super League: Wakefield Wildcats v Huddersfield Giants preview
Last Updated: 02/08/14 6:50pm
Wakefield Wildcats’ drive towards the Super League playoff places continues on Sunday as they welcome Huddersfield Giants to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
James Webster’s installation as Wakefield coach following the departure of Richard Agar sparked a resurgence in West Yorkshire, with the Wildcats chalking up five wins and a draw with just one loss on the Australian’s watch to date.
It is a remarkable run which has seen them defy reigning champions Wigan Warriors, 2013 Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves, as well as local rivals Leeds Rhinos. Now just two points separate the Wildcats from Widnes in the all-important eighth place with five rounds of action remaining.
Webster believes Wakefield are in need of four wins from their remaining five matches to make the knockout stages, but the visit of sixth-placed Huddersfield will provide a stern test for the Wildcats.
“We probably need to win four of our five remaining games to get into the playoffs; traditionally it has been 26 or 27 points that has got you close to making eighth spot,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve got Huddersfield this week and we travel away to St Helens yet so we have a couple of tough games but if we keep up the form we’ve shown over the last couple of weeks we definitely have a chance.”
Huddersfield also enter Round 23 on a high after registering back-to-back wins against Bradford Bulls and Catalan Dragons following defeats to Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils earlier in the month.
Despite their chequered run – winning just three of their last five matches – Giants coach Paul Anderson is still aiming high.
"There is everything to play for," Anderson said. "We want to be in that top four, we still want to finish top if that's possible.”
Ahead of the Giants’ trip to Wakefield Webster has made one enforced change with Matt Ryan ruled out of action.
The back rower underwent a shoulder reconstruction on Wednesday and in doing so ended his run as the only ever-present for Trinity in 2014. Ryan is replaced by 17-year old full-back Max Jowitt.
Meanwhile, Anderson makes two changes to the side which beat the Dragons last time out.
Leroy Cudjoe misses out following his late withdrawal at the weekend and is replaced by Aaron Murphy, while an injury to Kyle Wood sees Shaun Lunt make his comeback from an injury of his own.
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Riley, Kirmond, Keinhorst, Sykes, Lauitiiti, Raleigh, McShane, Gilmour, Sammut, Washbrook, Jowitt, Owen, Moore, T Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Scruton, Wildie
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Bailey, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta’ai, Broughton, Kaufusi, Mullally, Connor, Leeming
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 Devils0 - 0Castleford 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 2014, Round 23
Daryl Powell refused to dwell on Castleford's 64-18 win over London Broncos, preferring to focus on the Challenge Cup.
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson hailed a 'near perfect' first half display after they beat Wakefield 36-18.
Castleford moved to within two points of the Super League summit with 64-18 thrashing of London Broncos.
- Vikings battle to crucial win
- Lowes happy to see smiles back
- Radford: Pressure off Horne
- Horne helps Hull shock Saints
- Smith applauds Wolves' spirit
- Monaghans inspire Warrington
- Tigers v Broncos: Teams
- Wane delighted with response
- Warriors crush Salford
- Webster harbours playoff hopes
- Hull FC v Saints: Teams
- Dragons v Wolves: Teams
- Koukash hoping for Morley stay
- Teams: Warriors v Red Devils