Hull KR’s Super League play-off credentials look set for a fierce examination over the next fortnight.
The Robins, one place and a point behind eighth-placed Widnes with 10 games remaining, play host tonight to sixth-placed Huddersfield, who finished top of Super League last season.
Craig Sandercock’s side then welcome St Helens on Sunday, July 6 before a daunting trip to Headingley to face Leeds Rhinos on Friday, July 11.
It is an unforgiving schedule, but one which forward Jason Netherton is relishing as the Robins look to prove they are worthy of a play-off spot.
“It’s an important game (against the Giants), it’s at home for a start and we want to win all our home games,” said the 31-year-old former Leeds player.
“Huddersfield are going pretty well. It will be a tough game and we have a pretty tough month coming up.
“It would be good to get the month off to a good start.”
Netherton is a big admirer of the Giants, who boast quality in key positions.
“Huddersfield have quite a big pack so we need to muscle up in the middle of the field,” he said.
“They have some really good half-backs in Danny Brough and Luke Robinson, who get the team moving around the field.
“Brough has probably got the best kicking game in Super League so we need to make sure we put some pressure on him.
“Leroy Cudjoe is the England centre, so it will be tough to mark him, but I am pretty sure we are capable of doing it.”
Like most teams in the top half of Super League, Rovers have been inconsistent. A derby win over Hull FC was backed up with a 48-16 win against London, before defeats to Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves.
Hull KR then returned to winning ways last time out at troubled Bradford, but Netherton refuses to blame a spate of injuries for their lack of consistency.
“When you are playing with different players every week, in different positions, it can be quite hard,” he said. “But everyone had trained pre-season in these positions, so we all know what our job is regardless of what position we are playing in.
“It shouldn’t make that much of a difference and the boys who are coming in are doing a good job, so we are felling confident.”
That Bulls win was a relief for assistant coach Chris Chester.
“We felt like we let ourselves down against Castleford, and against Warrington, so it was important for morale that we got the two points,” said Chester.
“I thought it was a professional performance. We are still making plenty of errors, so that’s been something to work on. We have got to start beating the top sides, and we have a great opportunity against Huddersfield.”
WAKEFIELD’S Jarrod Sammut has joined Championship side Featherstone Rovers on dual-registration.
The versatile Australian will be available to play in Rovers’ match against North Wales Crusaders on Sunday.
Featherstone pair Lewis Price and Liam Walsmley have joined Championship One side Hunslet Hawks on a month’s loan.
Featherstone head coach Andy Hay said “I’m delighted that Jarrod has joined the club and he will go straight into the seventeen on Sunday. He will add significant quality and experience to our side.
“The move to Hunslet for Liam and Lewis will do them both good.
“Liam is recovering from injury and needs some game time under his belt to help his recovery to full fitness.
“This is also a good opportunity for Lewis to show what he can do at a higher standard than he is used to and will provide valuable experience for him and aid his development.”