Giants look to bounce back on return to Galpharm

TROUBLED Huddersfield Giants have had their version of crisis talks ahead of tonight’s game with Hull KR.

The club has made a major deal out of their “homecoming” to Galpharm Stadium after leaving 11 weeks ago, re-locating at Halifax’s Shay while the pitch was re-laid.

However, hopes of a triumphant return have been dulled following last week’s unexpected Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final loss at Castleford, a fourth defeat in just five games for a side deemed potential Grand Finalists.

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England hooker Luke Robinson, who has taken over the captaincy in Kevin Brown’s absence through injury, knows they have to respond against Rovers and that lack of form has been discussed.

“We haven’t been playing to what we class as a sufficient standard,” he said.

“We’re a pretty close-knit group of players and we’re all friends off the field as well.

“We have a great relationship, not only with the players, but the coaches too.

“We’ve had a sit down and a heart-to-heart about where we think our slight deficiencies are really.

“It’s the little things we need to improve on and if we do those well, then I’m sure we’ll get back to winning ways.

“It’s been a good week and one hopefully which can reignite our season.”

Robinson added: “The club have put a big effort into promoting the fact that it is our first game back and hopefully we can get a good boisterous crowd behind us.

“We want to perform for the fans – we know we owe them one.”

Hull KR are in a similar position having suffered a heavy Challenge Cup defeat at St Helens.

But that was their first loss in five fixtures and coach Justin Morgan is seeking an immediate response as they bid to sneak into the top eight.

He believes it is a good time to tackle Huddersfield whose current form means they are in danger of being overtaken by Catalan in fourth spot in Super League.

“On paper it is,” said Morgan. “They are missing a couple of players like (Luke) O’Donnell and Brown. You certainly put those guys into a similar mould like (Clint) Newton and (Michael) Dobson for us.

“They’ve had to make some readjustments to their team so it could possibly be a good time. But they’ve proven in the past that they’re a quality side and they’ll be very determined to make an assault at the top of the Super League table.”

Bradford Bulls, who played their part in Huddersfield’s misery by inflicting a 36-0 loss on them a fortnight ago, hope to follow up that performance when they head to Warrington Wolves tomorrow, second-row Ian Sibbit returning after breaking his thumb last month. Castleford Tigers host St Helens.