Fresh off the back of a much-needed win at Widnes, Huddersfield will feature in their annual televised game this Thursday as they welcome Hull KR to the John Smith's Stadium. Following a narrow loss to Catalans in Perpignan, Hull KR find themselves just below the Giants in the table, with one win – the home fixture against the Dragons - in their opening five games.
With star halfback Danny McGuire named in the squad but captain and former Giant Shaun Lunt out of action following an encounter with a PVC door (yes, you read that correctly), Rovers will be desperate for their first away win, while the Giants will be looking to make it two in a row.
There's no getting away from how poor Widnes were at times last week. With a huge 19 handling errors it wasn't their night, if anything the Giants should be concerned that they only managed one more try than the home side. It was a rainy, windy night, so perhaps a low score wasn't so surprising, but I'm still not totally convinced that our inability to open up a defence is resolved. We've got Wigan and Leeds to play in the coming weeks, so we should be taking a home tie against Rovers to mix things up a little and try and sharpen our attack.
There's just one change for us from last week, with Jordan Turner coming back into the side and Michael Lawrence stepping out. The only change I would expect to see is in the centres, with Turner stepping in for either Gaskell or Wood. I wouldn't mind seeing Mellor start, because as good as Oli was last week (and he was very good), I still prefer his impact off the bench.
One thing that I feel is really costing us points is that our wingers just aren't getting enough ball, we're reluctant to pass out wide when we get close to the line. There were a few instances last week where Jerry – who is still making big metres off kick returns – could have walked some tries in if Gaskell or Mamo had put him through, but they went alone and we gained nothing.
On that note, our key men will be the centres (whoever they may be). If they can get the ball out to the wingers, the tries will come.
Rovers have made two changes from their trip to Perpignan, as Shaun Lunt and Danny Tickle make way for James Donaldson and George Lawler. KR have recorded just one win so far this season, against a Catalans side whose only win came in the opposite fixture, so with St Helens, Hull and Wigan as their next three games (the latter two taking place over the Easter weekend), the away side will be desperate to get their season going before it's too late.
Unsurprisingly, we're picking Danny McGuire as their key man. His quality and experience far surpasses the rest of the squad, so if we can keep him contained we should pick up the two points.
Where will the game be won
Expect a battle of the veteran halfbacks. With Broughy's new contract making the news this week, he'll be looking to show the world that he's worth the money. Rovers are well aware of the danger Brough can produce, the last time these two sides met his drop goal left them to fight for survival in the Million Pound Game. On the other side, Super League's top try scorer Danny McGuire won't want his last season to be in the Championship, so he'll be desperate to get a win on the board if Rovers are going to surprise everyone and escape the bottom 4. Both teams will be going out of their way to suppress the opposing halfbacks, whichever side manages best will get a big edge in defence.
1Jake Mamo2Jermaine McGillvary4Jordan Turner5Aaron Murphy6Lee Gaskell7Danny Brough8Sebastine Ikahihifo9Kruise Leeming13Ryan Hinchcliffe14Dale Ferguson15Jordan Rankin16Oliver Roberts17Ukuma Ta'ai18Paul Clough21Adam O'Brien22Alex Mellor23Darnell McIntosh24Tyler Dickinson26Sam Wood