By Jonny Whitfield
Leeds Rhinos host Huddersfield Giants in round 12 of Super League on Thursday, looking to continue their 100% record at the Headingley Stadium.
Both sides return from Challenge Cup action last weekend where the Rhinos defeated Doncaster 64-28 to progress to the last 16. Youngster Jack Walker, who is without a senior contract with the club, scored a hat-trick of tries after being called up by head coach Brian McDermott.
McDermott told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “As well as scoring three tries he showed some real good awareness in offense – there were two tries in particular I was pretty impressed with.”
Meanwhile, Huddersfield were on the receiving end of a cup shock last Sunday as they went down 28-24 to Championship side Swinton – the part-time club condemned Rick Stone’s men to a ninth successive match without victory.
Stone also spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post. He said: “It wasn’t good. The depth and number of players out of the team at the moment hurts us a bit.”
In their last league outing, Leeds defeated Super League’s bottom club Widnes Vikings 44-22 at home to move joint-top with Castleford Tigers. The Giants lost 26-24 away to Warrington, also on Easter Monday, as their poor form continued.
Both clubs rested players as their attention turned to the Challenge Cup last weekend but coaches McDermott and Stone will welcome back key figures for Thursday’s West Yorkshire derby.
Leeds winger Tom Briscoe and hooker Matt Parcell, both of whom scored in the league win over Widnes, are restored to the 19-man squad, while 17-year-old Walker retains his place after his 12-point haul against Doncaster.
Huddersfield half-back Danny Brough returns from suspension and Jake Mamo continues at full-back looking to score for the third game in a row after making his debut against Catalans Dragons.
LTJournalism spoke to Leeds Rhinos fan Adam Robinson before Thursday’s big top-flight tie: