Huddersfield Giants expecting strong response from Hull FC

Huddersfield Giants coach Simon Woolford says he “expects the unexpected” against a Hull FC side coming out of their second lockdown tomorrow.

RESPONSE: Huddersfield Giants head coach Simon Woolford is expecting a tough test against Hull FC. Picture: Tony Johnson.

As much as the Fartowners are eager to get up and running after two narrow losses since resuming at the start of this month, their situation is nowhere near as complicated as that experienced by their rivals.

Hull were embarrassed 54-18 on their return against Salford Red Devils – and were then shutdown for 14 days after a dozen members of their squad and staff contracted Covid.

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“I’m sure they’ll have wanted to play pretty soon after their first game back,” said Woolford.

“They’ll have been disappointed with that and they’ve had their issues with Covid. I’m only expecting the best Hull team to turn up on Sunday; I think they’ll come with attitude and certainly have some players who can carry the ball so we need to make sure defensively we’re on cue there.

“I’m expecting them to be raring to go. And I’m expecting the unexpected.”

Agonisingly, Huddersfield have suffered one-point defeats against both Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves since the season’s restart.

There have been plenty of encouraging moments in both games and Woolford is desperate for his side to now finally emerge on the right side of the result.

HARD FOUGHT: Huddersfield Giants have lost both of their games in August by a single point. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

He is bereft of a number of key players, however, and will give captain Aidan Sezer as long as possible to prove his fitness ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Woolford believes Hull – who have interim head coach Andy Last taking charge for only a second time – are too good not to resurrect their season.

He said: “They’ll definitely turn it around. I just hope it’s not this week. They will be a little bit under-done but again they’ll still be smarting after what happened against Salford and they’ll be looking to make amends there for their new coach as well.

“I guess there’ll be some internal pressure on them to turn it around quickly so we can only prepare for the best Hull team and that’s what we’ve done.”

Meanwhile, long-serving Giants utility Aaron Murphy, 31, has signed a two-year deal with Bradford Bulls from 2021.

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James Mitchinson