The John Smith’s Stadium plays host to Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC on Thursday night in what will be a hotly contested match. The Black and Whites’ have seven days’ rest behind them following a tough home loss to the Catalans Dragons, meanwhile the Giants enjoyed a deserved 24-16 win against Wakefield Trinity last Friday, coming back from 16-8 down. The victory over Trinity eased the pain of a loss in their first home game of the season against the Salford Red Devils and gives Huddersfield four points from six games so far.
Hull FC prop Josh Bowden has called on his team-mates to be more disciplined at Huddersfield on Thursday night after losing a match littered with penalties against the Dragons. “We’ve looked at it in training and we’ll go again for Huddersfield.” Bowden added: “We need to be more disciplined because we suffered against Catalans after giving them so much cheap possession. It was frustrating not to get the two points. We could have beaten them and we were kicking ourselves in the changing rooms after the game. Huddersfield will be a similar proposition and they impressed me when I watched them in the loss to Salford.” This defeat was Bowden’s first appearance after injuring his ankle on a training camp with FC last month.
The Airlie Birds could face the Giants without first-choice forwards Scott Taylor and Liam Watts after both being given charges on Monday afternoon. Taylor, who has the option of an Early Guilty Plea, is accused of a shoulder charge whilst Watts is alleged to have made a dangerous throw in the same fixture. After facing the panel in the last 12 months, Watts could face a three to five-match ban. In more bad news, captain Gareth Ellis will also miss the game through injury, but half-back Albert Kelly returns after a one-game suspension.
Huddersfield coach Rick Stone is looking for his side to build on an incredible defensive display in the second half of their win over Wakefield last Friday night. “We had a good hard look at ourselves at half-time.” Stone added: “We had a good chat and a few of the senior guys spoke up. Defensively we needed to improve. Wakefield had a pretty good first half but they were rolling us down the field far too easily and the score could have been worse at half-time. It took a while for us to get it right but they stayed at it and got a result which will hopefully give them a bit of belief going forward.” The Giants had made a dream start to the Round 2 fixture with two tries in three minutes from teenager Sam Wood, his first in the top flight. But Wakefield then seized control and were looking good heading into the break. Huddersfield, as mentioned before, showed a much stronger second half display and will look to build on it as Hull FC visit this week.
Gene Ormsby and Darnell McIntosh look to be vying for the wing spot vacated by the injured Jermaine McGillvary for the Giants. Meanwhile Ukuma Ta’ai has accepted an early guilty plea for a Grade B high tackle on Ben Jones-Bishop and will be suspended for this game.
Huddersfield Squad: Cudjoe, Gaskell, Murphy, Brough, Brierley, Rapira, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Roberts, Clough, Smith, Ormsby, Dickinson, S Wood, McIntosh, M Wood, Mellor
Hull FC Squad: Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Minichiello, Connor, Green, Thompson, Wahsbrook, Michaels, Manu, Bowden, Turgut, Matongo