It’s not all champagne and skittles in Rugby League. After Salford’s heroics in the Challenge Cup at weekend it’s now back to the coal face with two League matches to play before Wembley.
First up is the ever improving and very impressive Huddersfield Giants. The Giants parted company with coach Simon Woolford recently and former Salford scrum half Luke Robinson who had a fantastic career with Huddersfield as a player is now in charge. Under Robinson’s guidance the Yorkshire side have won all three matches beating Wakefield, Castleford and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Luke Robinson has made a great start as Giants coach.
Although this match will be played at Headingley, this will be Huddersfield’s home game in the strange season. The Giants won at Salford in a very tight match back in February.
Huddersfield’s good run of form leaves them in sixth place on the League table level on fourteen points with fifth placed Leeds and fourth placed Catalans. Some may say they have an outside chance of the playoffs but if Robinson’s men continue their run of good form they have every chance of a tilt at Old Trafford. Salford proved last season that momentum can be very powerful and once you hit that winning run you can achieve great things.
With the Red Devils in ninth place on eight points it looks a difficult task to emulate 2019 especially with the amount of games to play in such a short space of time. Ian Watson will no doubt be targeting two more victories going into the Cup Final and it would be great to travel to the Capital on a winning run.
Super league away record.
1998 Huddersfield 12 Salford 16
1999 Huddersfield 24 Salford 10
2000 Huddersfield/Sheffield 10 Salford 18
2001 Huddersfield 24 Salford 32
2001 Huddersfield 35 Salford 14
2004 Huddersfield 26 Salford 14
2004 Huddersfield 28 Salford 22
2005 Huddersfield 26 Salford 10
2006 Huddersfield 32 Salford 18
2006 Huddersfield 24 Salford 18
2007 Huddersfield 16 Salford 18
2009 Huddersfield 4 Salford 24
2010 Huddersfield 52 Salford 4
2011 Huddersfield 52 Salford 22
2012 Huddersfield 36 Salford 10
2013 Huddersfield 46 Salford 4
2014 Huddersfield 10 Salford 36
2015 Huddersfield 12 Salford 18
2016 Huddersfield 24 Salford 26
2017 Huddersfield 20 Salford 30
2018 Huddersfield 12 Salford 30
2019 Huddersfield 14 Salford 34
They played for both.
Here are a selection of players who have played for both clubs;
Steve Kerry, Danny Arnold, Greg Austin, David Bradbury, Jodie Broughton, Ryan Clayton, Gavin Clinch, Greg Eden, Simon Finnigan, Matt Gardner, Lee Gaskell, Martin Gleeson, Bobbie Goulding, Darrel Griffin, Josh Griffin, Neil Harmon, David Hodgson, Graham Holroyd, Andy Johnson, Phil Joseph, Craig Kopzack, Michael korkidas, Tommy Lee, Martin Moana, Chris Nero, Robbie Paul, Luke Robinson, Jordan Turner, Adam Walne, Paul White and Stephen Wild.
Stephen Wild gave great service to both clubs.
A MATCH TO REMEMBER 5TH JULY 2014.
Huddersfield 10 Salford 36
Salford overcame the dismissal of Lama Tasi for a late tackle on Danny Brough to record their best win of a mostly troubled season. In the glorious Yorkshire sunshine Kevin Locke made his eagerly anticipated debut. The New Zealander lived up to the expectations with a thrilling display. Salford’s speed was there for all to see as they tore the Giants apart down the flanks with Locke and Mason Caton Brown scoring long range tries.
Kevin Locke made an exciting debut in 2014.
Lama Tasi was shown a red card on the hour mark for a Challenge on Danny Brough. Salford were leading 4-18 at this stage.
Despite being down to twelve men it was a wonderful day for us running in three more tries from Greg Johnson, Theo Fages and Kevin Locke.
Going in to this game Huddersfield had won 9 out of there last 10 matches. This was a day where everything clicked for Iestyn Harris’s Salford side and the travelling supporters certainly had a new hero in Locke.
For one reason or another Locke’s time at Salford didn’t really work out. Injury problems seemed to scupper his progress. In the end he left and went to Wakefield but sadly it ended in strange circumstances there too.
The teams that day:
Huddersfield; Grix, McGilvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Broughton, Brough, Wood, Kopzack, Robinson, Johnson, Ferres, Ta’ai, Lawrence.
Subs, Crabtree, Bailey, Patrick, Faiumu.
Salford; Locke, Johnson, Sa’u, Caton-Brown, Josh Griffin, Chase, Fages, Morley, Lee, Tasi, Ashurst, Jordan Walne, Puletua.
Subs, Rapira, Walton, Darrell Griffin, Niall Evalds.
Referee, Robert Hicks.
Ian Watson has named another strong squad for Thursday. Luke Yates returns after suspension, Andy Ackers is back after being cup tied and loan star Olly Ashall-Bott comes in after impressing last week in the league win over Warrington.
With Kevin Brown missing Chris Atkin is likely to get a chance at half back. The three quarter line looks like it will stay the same. The forward pack put in an immense performance on Saturday. Mark Flanagan was outstanding in attack and defence. Lee Mossop’s leadership had a huge influence on the team and his vocal presence rubbed off on the other players.
The Giants have plenty of quality in their squad and players to watch out for.
Jermaine McGillvary has played at international level for a number of years and he knows where the try line is. Aidan Sezer makes the team tick. He is the general in the middle of the park. His usual half back partner is Lee Gaskell. Lee is a tall lad with plenty of pace and is a terrific support player, he spent time at Salford in 2013 and was impressive in his spell with the club.
Ashton Goulding is an exciting player and Darnell McIntosh has bags of speed.
Leroy Cudjoe and Michael Lawrence have played over six hundred games between them for Huddersfield and form the cornerstone of this team.
This looks like another tough game to call and should be another fascinating encounter. The match will be played behind closed doors at Headingley Stadium with a 5:30pm kick off.
Stay safe and enjoy the match.