Once again you could argue Salford’s game this week is the game of the round as they host the high flying Huddersfield Giants in a battle between the two surprise packages of 2022.
Salford will be wounded after they were ultimately well beaten by Leeds last week despite a valiant effort which saw them slip out of the play-off spots at the expense of the Rhinos. A quick response is needed.
But will it come in the Ian Watson derby as he brings his Giants to his old stomping ground hoping to generate more momentum for the play-offs.
Salford could welcome back Harvey Livett and Tyler Dupree this week after they were included in the 21-man squad last week but didn’t play. Dan Sarginson is sadly back in the treatment room after a hamstring injury last week. Sam Luckley is out through HIA.
Huddersfield are boosted by the potential return of Chris Hill to the side but have lost Ash Golding and Will Pryce to injury and suspension respectively. That means the Giants are remarkably without squad numbers 1-5.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Ryan Brierley vs Tui Lolohea: Also returning to his old stomping ground alongside his coach, Tui Lolohea will look to continue his brilliant form against Salford. Though he’ll be up against a very similar and very dangerous player in Ryan Brierley who’ll look to stretch the Giants defence.
Brodie Croft vs Theo Fages: Another former Salford man will look to cause the Red Devils problems as Theo Fages comes to town. He’ll look to boss things against the Red Devils but the attacking brilliance of Brodie Croft may make it hard for the game to settle into Fages’ rhythm. After all, Croft was still brilliant in defeat last week.
Kallum Watkins vs Chris McQueen: Kallum Watkins is back to his old self even if he has reinvented himself as a second-row. A devastating threat in that role, he’ll be up against another very dangerous second-row in the free scoring Chris McQueen.
Where the game will be won and lost:
This should be a cracker between two very different sides. Salford are all about expression and pushing the ball when they can whilst the Giants are a methodical team who’ll try and grind you down. Ultimately, the Giants’ “process” under Watson may just give them enough here.
Score Prediction: Salford Red Devils 20-28 Huddersfield Giants