Both Huddersfield and Hull KR are developing rapidly into top teams in Super League and tomorrow’s game between the two could be a major step in their development especially for the victor.
It’s been seven years since Hull KR played in a Challenge Cup Final and, now distinctly a different kettle of fish, they’re more than ready for another shot at glory if they can get passed the Giants.
Speaking of Huddersfield, it’s been 10 years since they last played in a semi-final whilst 2009 was the last time they had the privilege of contesting the oldest and most prestigious final in the sport. Standing in their way this year is former coach Tony Smith and his Hull KR side.
The Giants are boosted by the return of Tui Lolohea and Chris Hill from suspension. Matty English however does miss out through a ban joining the likes of Jack Cogger and Will Pryce in watching from the touchline on Saturday.
It’s much worse news for Hull KR. They’ve lost Lachlan Coote, Sam Wood and Albert Vete. Meanwhile, Matty Storton is also a doubt whereas Jez Litten’s return is not guaranteed but he should return as should Kane Linnett and Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Ricky Leutele vs Ben Crooks: Last week against Leeds, Ben Crooks made over 260 metres and a number of breaks showing the attacking quality he possesses. He’ll be up against one of the form centres of Super League in the powerful Ricky Leutele so this could be quite the attacking battle.
Theo Fages vs Jordan Abdull: Last week Theo Fages returned with a bang with three assists in one game. A serial winner at St Helens even winning the cup a year ago, he will provide vital experience to the Giants. He’ll be up against another of the top halfbacks in the league in Jordan Abdull. Both will look to dominate the game and the one who does may lead their side to victory.
Luke Yates vs Elliot Minchella: From two top halves to two top 13s, this will be a clash of styles between the battling Luke Yates and the off the cuff Elliot Minchella. Both are central to their side’s attack and defence so whoever gets on top will be at the heart of the result.
Where the game will be won and lost:
The Giants have made more metres than anyone this season and with the Robins due to be without big forwards like Albert Vete, Huddersfield could dominate the middle of the field. But few teams can score from range like the off-the-cuff Robins. However, at Headingley Hull KR’s attack struggled to find a way through. So, this game could be decided by whether their attack can get going like we know it can otherwise we could see the Giants squeeze the life out of them. In the end, the game may be settled by the missing players such as Lachlan Coote who is at the heart of Hull KR’s attack.
Score Prediction: Huddersfield Giants 18-12 Hull KR