Opposition Profile: Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield Giants play their first home game of the season at the John Smith’s Stadium this Sunday following last week’s victory away against Catalans Dragons.

Here’s a look at the Rhinos’ opposition for their round two Betfred Super League game this Sunday….


Overview

Since finishing in the Play Off spots in 2015, Huddersfield Giants have struggled to match that form over the last few years. Now in his third season at the helm, head coach Simon Woolford has continued to enhance his squad in all areas ahead of the 2020 season.

Ashton Golding is one of Simon Woolford’s new signings for 2020

The marquee capture of Aidan Sezer is a huge addition to the squad; Sezer carrying notable credentials from his time at Canberra Raiders, including an NRL Grand Final appearance in 2019.

Newcastle Knights forward James Gavet has also made the move from Australia to add to Huddersfield’s growing pack but the club has also invested in local talent too, bringing in former Rhinos duo Ashton Golding and Owen Trout.


Last Time Out

The Giants kicked off their 2020 season with a 32-12 win over Catalans in Perpignan.

For the first time since 2017, the Giants opened the season with a win, beating Catalans Dragons 32-12 in Perpignan last Saturday. Sezer was a shining light for the visitors, scoring a try and kicking six goals to help his team to victory over the Dragons, who had James Maloney on debut.


Key Players

KENNY EDWARDS

Position: Back Row

Career Appearances: 103

Super League Tries: 10

Former clubs: Parramatta Eels, Catalans Dragons

Bio: A threatening back rower who arrived in Super League in 2018, making the switch to the Giants after nearly two years at Catalans. Joining up with former Eels team mate Suaia Matagi, Edwards will be part of a forward pack that combines youth with experience, a trend that runs throughout the Giants’ squad.

AIDAN SEZER

Position: Scrum Half

NRL Appearances: 155

NRL Goals: 179/218

2019 NRL Grand Finalist with Canberra Raiders

Bio: The playmaker is one of the best in rugby league at executing structured moves. Starting his career at Gold Coast Titans, his best moments in the NRL came while he was at the ‘Green Machine’, playing alongside Blake Austin and Jack Wighton under Ricky Stuart.


Previous Meetings

When Huddersfield first hosted Leeds in 1998, the clash ended in a 70 point thrashing for the home side; Richie Blackmore, Leroy Rivett and Brad Godden all scoring twice as Graham Murray’s Rhinios continued a six match winning streak in the league. Over the next four seasons, Leeds recorded wins both home and away against the Giants, who finishing bottom in all of the four campaigns.

Huddersfield recorded back to back home wins in 2016, beating the Rhinos during the regular season and in the Qualifiers. Jake Connor and Eorl Crabtree touched down late on to help the home side to a 28-20 result in March and then in September, the Giants secured their Super League safety with a 22-14 in front of a home crowd.

Zak Hardaker scored a hat trick against the Giants in the 2011 Play Offs, helping Leeds progress to the semi finals with a 34-28 win. It was the second match between the two sides in two weeks.

The last time the two sides played each other in round two of Super League was in 2008; Leeds securing a 30-10 result. Brent Webb and Ryan Hall both scored braces to give Leeds a resounding lead before Jamie Jones-Buchanan added his name to the scoresheet.

Last Ten Meetings at the John Smith’s Stadium

Huddersfield Giants 0 Leeds Rhinos 44 (Rnd 25, 02/08/19)

Huddersfield Giants 22 Leeds Rhinos 22 (Rnd 8, 30/03/18)

Huddersfield Giants 12 Leeds Rhinos 36 (Super 8s, 22/09/17)

Huddersfield Giants 12 Leeds Rhinos 28 (Rnd 6, 24/03/17)

Huddersfield Giants 22 Leeds Rhinos 14 (Qualifiers, 18/09/16)

Huddersfield Giants 36 Leeds Rhinos 22 (Challenge Cup Rnd 6, 06/05/16)

Huddersfield Giants 28 Leeds Rhinos 20 (Rnd 13, 29/04/16)

Huddersfield Giants 16 Leeds Rhinos 20 (Super 8s, 25/09/15)

Huddersfield Giants 24 Leeds Rhinos 24 (Rnd 13, 30/04/15)

Huddersfield Giants 12 Leeds Rhinos 12 (Rnd 4, 07/03/14)


Record against the Rhinos

During the Super League era, Leeds have played Huddersfield 25 times at the John Smith’s Stadium and have won 16 of them. Between 2004 and 2009, the Rhinos were unbeaten at the John Smith’s, and recorded a 54-10 result in 2005; Richie Mathers, Chris McKenna and Ben Walker all scoring twice in the nine try blitzing.

More recently, Huddersfield have won eleven times at home and away in the league over the last eight years. It is their best form against Leeds since they joined Super League in 1998 and four of the wins have come at the John Smith’s Stadium (20122013 and twice in 2016).

Winger Jermaine McGillvary has scored the most tries against the Rhinos with nine.

There has also been three draws inside of the last six years. A low scoring 12-12 affair at the start of the 2014 season was followed by a 24 all deadlock the year after; Kallum Watkins scoring in both matches. Two year’s ago, Ash Handley saved a point for the visiting Rhinos, scoring late on to secure a 22 all draw.


Last Game Against the Rhinos

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Last year, Leeds claimed an important 44-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium. On his 100th appearance, Ash Handley scored two tries for the visitors, along with Tom Briscoe, Adam Cuthbertson, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe and Konrad Hurrell, as Leeds kept their local rivals scoreless for the first time in Super League.


More Information

Tickets and travel for Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased either by coming down to the Leeds Rugby Ticket Office at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, over the phone on 0371 423 1315 or online at tickets.therhinos.co.uk.

Ticket Prices:

Advance PriceThe Abzorb Stand Unreserved Seating at one endMatch Day PriceThe Abzorb Stand Unreserved Seating at one end
Adults£21£25
Senior Citizens (65 years old and over)£16£20
Juniors (16 and under)£6£10
Junior Season Member voucher*FREEUnavailable

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