Fading Giants face Hull test

Huddersfield hope that the horrors of the second half of the Super League regular season are behind them as they embark on their play-off campaign today.

The Giants led the table impressively in April, only for a run of 10 games with only two wins to send them into a downward spiral.

The early departure of the St Helens-bound coach, Nathan Brown, and his replacement by Paul Anderson has not had an immediate impact on their form or results.

There were signs of a revival in the victory over Leeds last weekend, but Huddersfield's decline has been so precipitous that they have lost the home advantage that goes with a top- four finish and must travel to Hull this evening.

But the Giants do have two bonuses going into the game. One is that their loose-forward Luke O'Donnell, sent off last week in his first game back after a hamstring injury, was found not guilty and is clear to play.

The Giants hooker Luke Robinson says that having O'Donnell available in those circumstances might provide the inspiration that could keep their season alive.

The other good sign is that Danny Brough, recently appointed captain, was back to his best against Leeds and will surely relish a return to one of his former clubs.

It has been a busy week for Hull, who have extended the contracts of their coach, Peter Gentle, and two of their key players, the hooker Danny Houghton and the prop Mark O'Meley.

With Ben Galea and Daniel Holdsworth signed from Hull KR and Salford respectively, a powerful squad is taking shape for next season. More immediately, Hull need to keep this season alive, with Gentle predicting a fierce forward battle.

If it is to be that sort of game, he might be tempted to include the hulking Sam Moa, who is available again after injury.

The Catalan Dragons, beaten 46-6 by Wigan on Friday night, will play their sudden-death play-off in Perpignan this Friday.

The England Test forwards Sam Burgess and James Graham will face each other for a place in the Australian Grand Final on Saturday. Burgess's South Sydney beat the Canberra Raiders 38-16 to set up a preliminary final against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Burgess's younger brother, Luke, also played in the win over the Raiders.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy