Eorl Crabtree relishing Super League play-off opener against Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 09/09/13 4:58pm
Eorl Crabtree: 'I think you will see two teams that are going to rip into each other. The first 20 minutes could be epic'
Eorl Crabtree has been named in the Super League dream team for the first time, one of five Huddersfield players in this year's elite XIII.
The huge forward is revelling in the Giants' success this season, but knows that matters are about to get serious with their Super League play-off opener against Wigan Warriors on Thursday, live on Sky Sports.
"Winning the League leaders' shield is one of the proudest achievements in the game for the Giants," Crabtree told Sky Sports News.
Wigan a threat without O'Loughlin
"To claim the shield for the first time in 81 years, to have five players in the Dream Team it's been a massive week, and now one of the biggest games of the lot against Wigan at out place on Thursday night."
Warriors skipper Sean O'Loughlin is another pick in the Dream Team but he will not be involved on Thursday night because of injury.
"It's hard to say whether they are a weaker side," Crabtree said. "But there is no doubt that Sean O'Loughlin will be a massive miss for them as he creates so many opportunities for the likes of Sam Tomkins out the back.
"If he gets the ball in space he can create havoc. But fortunately for us he is out but it's still going to be a tough ask.
"Leeds were sensational against Wigan in the other night (a 20-8 victory) and you cannot take anything away from them, but there is no doubt that Wigan will be smarting from that loss. They'll be coming out to hit us hard.
"I think you will see two teams that are going to rip into each other. The first 20 minutes could be epic. It will be a great occasion, a great atmosphere, hopefully in front of a lot of fans. We are looking forward to the occasion as they are too, no doubt."
As to the Giants having five players in the dream team - Danny Brough, Leroy Cudjoe, Brett Ferres and Shaun Lunt being the others - Crabtree believes it augurs well for the future of the game at the John Smith's stadium.
He said: "First time in 13 years that I have managed to get in the team but it is more a reflection on how well the team has done rather than how well I might have done.
"It puts Huddersfield on the map in rugby league terms a little bit and that is down to the rest of the boys."