Following this week’s sacking of Rick Stone, Huddersfield’s interim coach Chris Thorman has his work cut out as Leeds Rhinos make the short journey to the John Smiths Stadium.
The host’s injury list doesn’t make pretty reading for Thorman; Jake Mamo, Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell and Kruise Leeming are all first teamers who are believed to be absent from the Good Friday match while Danny Brough and Sebastine Ikahihifo have been passed fit following fitness concerns. Dale Ferguson and Oliver Roberts have late tests but, either way, the Giants are somewhat depleted.
Leeds also have their own injury concerns but, unlike the hosts, they haven’t stopped the Rhinos achieving four wins from their six games so far this season in contrast to Huddersfield’s two. Former Giant Brett Ferres has been included in the nineteen man squad for the first time since last season’s Grand Final and it is believed that Brad Dwyer will return to the bench after missing games recently with injury. That will probably see either Jack Walker or, more likely, Ashton Golding drop out of the seventeen that staged a sensational but ultimately unsuccessful comeback against Castleford last weekend.
It would be a brave man who would back Huddersfield today. So far this season, they have conceded 194 points in just seven matches; an average of 28.1 per game. Leeds, therefore, will fancy their chances of getting two points at the home of their Yorkshire neighbours and should do so quite comfortably.
Huddersfield squad: Brough, Clough, Dickinson, Hewitt, Hinchcliffe, Ikahihifo, Lawrence, McIntosh, Mellor, Murphy, O’Brien, Rankin, Roberts, Senior, Simpson, Smith, Ta’ai, Turner, Walne
Leeds Rhinos squad: Ablett, Briscoe, Delaney, Dwyer, Ferres, Golding, Hall, Handley, Jones-Buchanan, Moon, Mullally, Myler, Oledzki, Parcell, Singleton, Smith, Walker, Walters, Watkins