BOSS BRIAN McDermott admits Leeds Rhinos will face their “bogey team” tonight.
Rhinos have not won at home to Huddersfield since 2010 and their last win over Giants was the following year.
Giants are unbeaten in their last seven Super League and Challenge Cup meetings with Rhinos and McDermott said: “It’s fair to call them our bogey team. We haven’t beaten them for a few years and that is something we are mindful of.”
Rhinos will go into tonight’s clash as the form side, with two wins from two in First Utility Super League. Giants have yet to pick up a point, but McDermott said: “The losses against Huddersfield in the past haven’t been so much to do with where we were at that particular time. I just think they’ve been funny old performances every time we’ve played them and credit to Huddersfield, they’ve been very good.
“I remember one game when Danny Brough absolutely kicked us to death and on each occasion it has been one of those funny games when we’ve been pretty flat and Huddersfield have been good, they’ve got the game and credit to them. I don’t think we’re going into the game thinking ‘we’re better now than we used to be, therefore we’re going to win’. We just need to make sure we perform against Huddersfield, which we haven’t done for a few years now.”
Neither team was in action last weekend, when Super League took a break for the World Club Series. McDermott said Rhinos have used the extra week’s preparation to work on things they didn’t do well against Hull KR and Widnes.
“We are only in the early stages and win or lose, there are certain things you want to get on top of and keep working on,” he said. “It has allowed us to do that.”
Rhinos are away to Hull a week tonight and then face Wigan Warriors at home and Catalans Dragons away before Easter derbies against Castleford Tigers (away) and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (home).
“At the end of this period we could have some real momentum,” McDermott said.
“After two games you can’t really have too much of a read into how you are going, but after this block we will have more idea of where we’re at. You don’t have momentum after two games and by the same token, while Huddersfield and (coach) Paul Anderson won’t be pleased with how they’ve gone, they won’t be too down either. It’s only two games in. It’s too early in the season to start reading anything into it yet.”
Rhinos under-19s are also in action tonight, against Midlands Academy at Stanningley (7.30pm). Leeds’ under-16s face Hull KR at Stanningley on Saturday (12.30pm).