Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors: Danny Brough backs Giants to overcome injury adversity
Having overcome a slovenly start to the campaign, the Fartowners hope to earn a fourth successive win when they host champions Wigan Warriors in an important match tonight.
It is no surprise the West Yorkshire club’s fortunes picked up once their injury list eased.
They have beaten Warrington Wolves, Catalans Dragons and St Helens in successive weeks to rise into seventh spot, just ahead of struggling Wigan on points difference.
However, Rick Stone’s side lost prolific full-back Jake Mamo and hooker Adam O’Brien to injury when beating Saints and Kiwi prop Sam Rapira also incurred a ban which means he misses tonight’s fixture.
Furthermore, NRL signing Jordan Rankin has failed to arrive in time for a game which could go a long way towards making sure Huddersfield avoid the bottom four.
Stand-off Brough said: “We’re looking to build something and though we’ve got some adversity it’s important we keep working like we have and keep playing the way we have. It was going well. We didn’t have any injuries for three games on the trot and came up with three wins.
“We have picked up a few injuries now but that’s an opportunity for some lads to come in and stamp their authority on the side.
“We’re trying to push forward and it is a massive game when you look at the table.
“We know they’re a great team and it’s always a physical encounter.”
Wigan are in fear of ending up in the Qualifiers themselves – as Giants did last year – having failed to win any of their last seven league games. They are undefeated in their last eight meetings with Giants, however, and also beat Warrington 27-26 in a dramatic Challenge Cup quarter-final on Saturday.
Brough’s battle with young England stand-off George Williams should be fascinating.
The 34-year-old said: “We’ll have to work hard to shut their plays down.
“George is a quality player; he’s strong, quick, tough and has all the skills so there’s no reason why he can’t be the next big thing. He seems to be going in the right direction and has been Wigan’s star man this season.”
Scotland star Brough, though, has been working well with Martyn Ridyard, the on-loan Leigh Centurions half-back who has proved a crucial cog over the last month and yesterday extended his arrangement until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old has certainly improved Giants since Ryan Brierley’s move to Toronto Wolfpack and Brough said: “He’s quite calm and not erratic.
“He plays the plays he does, kicks well in general play and kicks goals well, too.
“We’ve got a nice little partnership going. As for the goal-kicking, I had a bit of a niggle and he kicked goals well when I had that. I’ve just left him to it since. There’s no dramas.”