Stats Pack: Huddersfield Giants
SL.Rd5.Giants v Rhinos. Sun2ndMay2021.© MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY
Tonight sees Leeds Rhinos welcome Huddersfield Giants to Emerald Headingley as part of Super League’s Rivals Round, kick off 7:45pm.
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
Tonight sees the Rhinos and the Giants go head to head for the 50th time in Super League. Since first meeting in 1998, Leeds have won 34 clashes against Huddersfield, while the Giants have twelve wins.
At Emerald Headingley, matches between the two sides have tended to see the men in blue and amber prevail. Leeds have 16 wins (12 of which came over a twelve year streak) before Huddersfield claimed six wins in their last ten visits to Headingley. The last three meetings between the two sides have been decided by one point too.
When the season restarted in 2020, the two sides took part in a thrilling clash at Emerald Headingley that saw Leeds fightback and secure an extra time win; Luke Gale kicking the winning drop goal. Gale was on hand to decide the second game between the two club’s last year but the Giants took their revenge this year, edging Leeds 14-13 thanks to a last second Lee Gaskell drop goal.
So far in 2021, there is a clear difference between both outfits. Leeds have dominated in attack, averaging more points per game (24.7) than the Giants (18.4), most of which come in final five minutes of the first half. In terms of metres too, although Huddersfield’s (114.2) backs average just more than Leeds’ (113.5) overall across the team the Rhinos make more metres.
Huddersfield average more tackles a game than Leeds, thanks to the work of Luke Yates, Josh Jones and Joe Greenwood, and also have the best tackle efficiency in the league (90.5). The Giants’ set completion is also the best in Super League, with a 79.1 success rate, with their challenge now to turn that consistency into points on the scoreboard.
Huddersfield’s Top Performers
11 Tries (6th in SL)
22 Goals (11th in SL)
662 Tackles (2nd in SL)
31 (17th in SL)
2 Yellow Cards (7th in SL)
Key Head to Head
Two of Super League and England’s most exciting young props in Tom Holroyd and Matty English go head to head tonight. Both have worked their way through their club’s Academy systems and have worked their way into both Agar and Watson’s squads.
Since returning from injury, Holroyd has settled into playing alongside the likes of Zane Tetevano, Matt Prior and Mikolaj Oledzki in Richard Agar’s set up. More recently though, he has been a power prop from the bench and last time out against Leigh, he made more metres than fellow youngsters Jarrod O’Connor and Morgan Gannon as well as Zane Tetevano. He also carried the ball more against Leigh than he did against Castleford the week before; the prop making twelve runs over 39 minutes at Leigh Sports Village compared to seven runs over 37 minutes against the Tigers
English has missed seven games this season, as the Giants have suffered with injuries and Covid cases throughout the campaign, but he continues to be a shining light for the youth system at the club. The prop debuted in 2017 against Leeds and was a try scorer against the Rhinos in the 13-12 defeat in 2020. He was a part of the side that got their first win against Agar’s outfit earlier this season, coming from the bench to aid the forward pack in big defensive effort.
An under par performance against Salford from the Giants squad and a relatively young 21-man squad for tonight’s fixture means that English will be called upon once again to show his best qualities which have earned him recognition by Shaun Wane, who included the forward in his England squad that met in June prior to their clash with the Combined Nations All Stars.
Stats Standout from Round 19: Leeds Rhinos
Captaining the Rhinos once again this week, winger Ash Handley has led by example in recent weeks with big metres and tries in back to back games.
Going into last Friday’s match against Leigh with Leeds’ previous performance against the Centurions in mind, it was clear that the outside backs were going to have a big game again and Handley led the charge along with Harry Newman and Tom Briscoe. Handley was the top metre maker in the game with a total of 230 run metres, with Newman (163) and Leigh’s James Bell (165) behind him, but to compare that with his opposite number Junior Sa’u, the England international blew the Sa’u out of the water, with the former New Zealand international making only 62 metres over 80 minutes, due to Leigh spending a lot of the game defending.
Handley also made the most carries in a match so far this season (22) and followed up his spectacular try against Castleford with another, more routine finish in the corner to take his total for the season to four. An assist for Cam Smith’s try too capped a good captain’s performance.
Stats Standout from Round 19: Huddersfield Giants
As highlighted in Huddersfield’s opposition overview, academy product Will Pryce has been a revelation for Watson when the Giants’ coach has been without Aidan Sezer, Lee Gaskell and Jack Cogger at times in 2021.
Against Salford in round 19, his attacking presence was especially felt as he was the most active half back on the field. Compared to both his partner Cogger and both Chris Atkin and Kevin Brown in the Salford lineup, Pryce took more runs (11 runs compared to eight for Cogger, four for Atkin and two for Brown) and, as a consequence, he made more metres (129). This season, only Sezer has engaged the line more than Pryce, who averages two a game.
In the Giants’ side alone, only outside backs Louis Senior, Ashton Golding, Jake Wardle and Leroy Cudjoe made more metres than Pryce, who was also a standout for on supports too. Taking all that into account, it’s no wonder then that he has the most try involvements out of any Huddersfield player this season.
To add to that, Leeds will have to be aware of his kicking game. Against Salford, he averaged 21 metres from the boot (12 kicks making 253 metres) which was compared closely to Salford’s Atkin, who made seven kicks for 215 metres (31 metres). This shows too that both players were forced to kick from deep down the field more often than closer to the line. In an attacking sense, this season has seen Pryce matches Sezer for forcing the most dropouts from kicks but he has given away the most seven-tackle sets from kicks.
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.