Stats Pack: Huddersfield Giants

RFL. Giants v Rhinos. Sun 14th March 2021 (PHOTO BY MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY)

Leeds Rhinos travel to take on the Huddersfield Giants on Sunday 2nd May at the John Smith’s Stadium, kick off 3pm.

Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Ian Watson’s sides.

Team Head to Head

Overall, Leeds have played Huddersfield 49 times in Super League, with the Rhinos taking away the win on 34 occasions compared to the Giants’ 11. When the Giants first joined in 1998 they only won one regular season match in the first eleven years (excluding 2002 when they played in the Northern Ford Premiership) and between 2004 and 2009, Leeds held an unbeaten run.

The Giants come into this fixture after pushing the Champions St Helens close last week, but were ultimately defeated 18-10 at the John Smith’s Stadium. Prop Luke Yates led the defensive effort for the Giants, making 65 tackles, while Jack Cogger became only the third player this season to kick a successful 40/20. On the offensive front, Lee Gaskell has filled the boots of Aidan Sezer whilst the star half back was on the sidelines, assisting three tries so far in 2021 and he currently sits in the top 20 Super League players for attacking kicks (14).

In Leeds’ defeat last week, centre Konrad Hurrell made 158 metres and four offloads on his return to the starting lineup. Liam Sutcliffe could be set for his come back into the Rhinos line up having missed the last two games. He had his best outing for the Rhinos against Castleford in round two, although this week he will look to line up with Kyle Eastmond in the halves for the first time.

Key Head to Head

A great head to head for fans on Sunday will be between two players vying for the same position in Shaun Wane’s squad for the upcoming World Cup.

Jermaine McGillvary is still one of Huddersfield’s stand out players after 14 years with his hometown club. So far in 2021, he leads the Giants in metres (536), clean breaks (3) and is behind only Darnell McIntosh in carries (McGillvary has 73 while McIntosh has 75). He also has tries in his last two games and can hit a major career milestone should he score a try against the Rhinos. He can become the joint seventh highest try scorer in Super League history, joining Leon Pryce on 173 tries.

On the opposite side of the field, last year’s top try scorer in Super League Ash Handley plays for only the second time in 2021, after suffering an injury against the Giants in a pre season friendly. He made 142 metres off of 17 carries in his first outing of the season at full back and also stepped up to kick his first career conversion.

One to Watch: Huddersfield Giants

Signed for London in 2019, before moving to Salford a year later and now at Huddersfield with Ian Watson, prop Luke Yates has impressed Giants fans since his arrival. Recruited to build up Huddersfield’s forward pack along with Josh Jones, Joe Greenwood and Jack Ashworth, Yates is leading the Giants on the defensive front with 204 tackles (third most in Super League). He topped the tackle charts last week against St Helens with 65. He also ranks third in the League for marker tackles (25) showing he’s doing the work at marker to try shut attacks down quickly.

One to Watch: Leeds Rhinos

With three tries in his last three matches in all competitions, hooker Brad Dwyer is proving to be a significant threat for Leeds off the bench. His two tries in the Challenge Cup against St Helens were a stand out for the hooker and he managed to power his way over from dummy half for the only the Rhinos try last week against Hull KR. His eagerness to attack the line from the play the ball is showing in his statistics as he has made 19 runs from dummy half so far this season.

Player Milestones

Alex Mellor

Former Giant Mellor needs one more appearance to reach 100 appearances in Super League. Starting at Bradford, where he made 10 appearances before the Bulls were relegated in 2015, he later moved to Huddersfield where he had his best season in 2019, starting 27 times. He joined the Rhinos in 2020 and will make his 15th Super League appearance for the club tomorrow afternoon.

Jermaine McGillvary

Giants winger and England international Jermaine McGillvary needs one try to draw level with Leon Pryce in seventh place in the list of Super League’s all-time leading try scorers. McGillvary has scored all 172 tries while at Huddersfield (his hometown club).

Team News