Rick Stone hopes Huddersfield Giants can prosper after being forced to take a weekend off.
Fresh from their stunning 46-18 win at Hull FC, the Giants have been sidelined for a fortnight as the Black and Whites bounced back in impressive style to win the Challenge Cup final.
They’re 10 points ahead of the next team so they’re probably 15-20 per cent better than any other side in the competition.Rick Stone
Huddersfield still harbour outside hopes of gatecrashing the top-four in the Super 8s, but will need to win their remaining four games, starting tomorrow with the visit of league leaders Castleford Tigers.
Head coach Stone claims the enforced rest has helped his injury-hit squad recover.
“I think it has definitely helped,” he said.
“We got a few bumps and bruises from the Hull game. Danny Brough and Jordan Turner definitely had a few bumps and bruises.
“The momentum has been pretty good in the last couple of weeks. As for the break, we used it appropriately considering we are at the back end of a long season.”
The extended lay-off meant Stone has been able to recall Leroy Cudjoe, Sam Rapira, Dale Ferguson and Ollie Roberts after injury for tomorrow’s game.
Stone claims League Leaders’ Shield winners Castleford are “probably 15-20 per cent better than any other side in the competition”.
“They’ve been the stand-out team in the competition,” he said. “The table reflects that.
“They’re 10 points ahead of the next team so they’re probably 15-20 per cent better than any other side in the competition.
“We had a decent game against them at home, and we were missing a few key players. It was a long time ago now though and they’ve been pretty consistent all year. They’ve still got to keep building some momentum.
“Now they’ve won the League Leaders’ Shield, they want to keep building, keep some momentum going towards the semi-finals. I expect after a week off that they want to get straight back on the horse.
“And we may have to win four to make it into the top four.”