Opposition Overview: Huddersfield Giants
Picture by Jack Wray/Super League Europe/via SWpix.com - 06/03/2021 - Super League Season 2021 Pre Season Location Video Shoot and Stills Photography Portraits. Huddersfield Giants - Aidan Sezer
After a 46-10 win over Leigh Centurions saw his side move back into the top six, Richard Agar’s team return to Emerald Headingley this Thursday to take on Huddersfield Giants as part of Super League’s Rivals Round, kick off 7:45pm.
The Rhinos also welcome Rob Burrow MBE back for a matchday as the Leeds legend will be the guest of honour. The game coincides with the release of Burrow’s book ‘Too Many Reasons to Live’ which is available to pre order now.
2021 so far..
Huddersfield Giants head into Thursday night’s game looking to get back to winning ways in the Betfred Super League. Ian Watson’s side were on a three match winning streak heading into last week’s clash with the Red Devils but Watson’s former club just edged the Giants 18-12 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Huddersfield were tipped to have a positive season after the impressive form of players like Aidan Sezer, Adam O’Brien and Jermaine McGillvary in 2020 along with their recruitment in a range of positions; England Knights international Joe Greenwood, NRL Grand Final winner Ricky Leutele and former St Helens, Salford and Hull FC second rower Josh Jones all signing for the club ahead of the current season. It has been Luke Yates though that has proved to be a steal from Salford, making the second highest number of tackles in Super League (662) as well as 209 carries (20th in SL).
Despite the expectations, it took the Giants a couple of games to kick into gear. After suffering four consecutive defeats against Hull FC, Catalans, Hull KR and St Helens, a one point win over Leeds kickstarted Watson’s side as they won their next two games against Warrington and Leigh.
A string of disappointing results through June and July saw the Giants go on an eight game losing run before they hit some form once again with wins over Hull FC, Castleford and Wakefield. Although they have an outside chance of making the top six, should results go their way, a win over Leeds on Thursday would see the claret and gold move to within one point of Hull FC and two points behind Castleford Tigers with a favourable run in that includes matches against Warrington, Hull KR, Wakefield at Magic Weekend, Catalans and Leigh.
Last Four Results
Young half back Will Pryce has been catching the eye of fans in Super League and the NRL after he has fitted seamlessly into Watson’s set up.
The son of Bradford, St Helens, Great Britain and England half back Leon, Pryce debuted against Catalans and produced a try assist despite the defeat. He went on to play six more games, with the departing Aidan Sezer and Lee Gaskell remaining absent through injury, and he has grown into one of the best young prospects in the league this season. It is so much so that he has been tipped to move to the NRL, following the success of former Huddersfield academy player Dom Young at Newcastle Knights, although head coach Watson has said he has penned a long term deal to stay at the Giants.
A club stalwart, hometown talent Michael Lawrence was handed a captaincy role alongside Aidan Sezer and Adam O’Brien.
Lawrence has spent his whole career in claret and gold, after coming through the academy from Newsome Panthers. He has played over 300 games for the club since debuting against Warrington in 2007, which included 21 appearances as the Giants lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2013 – their first silverware in the summer era. He has been a stalwart of the Giants’ pack, from featuring alongside Eorl Crabtree to now lining up along with youngsters Oliver Wilson, Owen Trout and Luke Yates.
In 2019, he made his international debut for Jamaica at Emerald Headingley against England Knights. Lawrence had previously represented the Knights back in 2012 but, along with Ashton Golding, he became one of a number of Super League players to commit to the Reggae Warriors ahead of the World Cup, now in 2022.
Between the Leeds and Huddersfield’s squads there are six players that have played for both clubs.
For the Rhinos, Alex Mellor and Kruise Leeming both had lengthy stints in the claret and gold. Leeming was a product of the Giants’ Academy system and played 122 times between 2013 and 2019. Mellor was signed to Huddersfield from Yorkshire rivals Bradford Bulls in 2017 and played 79 games, including 27 starts in 2019. Brad Dwyer is the only other Leeds player to have played for the Giants. Dwyer spent a season on loan from Warrington with Paul Anderson’s side and made six appearances off the bench.
For Huddersfield, Ashton Golding and Owen Trout signed from Leeds in 2020. Both players came through the Rhinos’ Academy programme, with Golding making 54 appearances and scoring 38 points and Trout playing only three times during the 2019 campaign. Ian Watson also recruited Nate Peteru from Super League rivals Leigh Centurions mid season, with the prop joining his fourth Super League club since being brought to the competition by the Rhinos in 2018.
Last Game vs Leeds at Emerald Headingley Stadium
Six weeks after the two sides helped kick off the restart of the Betfred Super League, it was another drop goal from Luke Gale that made the difference as Leeds Rhinos claimed a 13-12 result over Huddersfield Giants at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Konrad Hurrell and Tom Briscoe scored the two tries for the Rhinos as they fought from 10-0 down.
To buy your tickets for the rivals round match with Huddersfield, go to tickets.therhinos.co.uk or phone on 0371 423 1315 (Monday to Friday 10.30am – 3.30pm). Please be aware that the ticket office at Emerald Headingley Stadium is not open on non-match days.