WAKEFIELD TRINITY prop Craig Huby knows bottom-placed Widnes Vikings cannot be written off tomorrow – especially with his old pal Rangi Chase now in their ranks.
The ex-England stand-off is set to debut for Widnes in the opening game of Magic Weekend after joining on a loan from Castleford Tigers for the rest of the season.
Chase – who had a spell out of the sport completely last year and has openly admitted battling depression – had endured a number of off-field disciplinary problems prior to his exit.
However, he remains one of the most dangerous players in Super League as Huby can testify having spent all six years of Chase’s first spell at Castleford alongside him between 2009 and 2014.
“You’re never really sure what Rangi’s going to do when you play with him,” he said.
“I know that from our days at Cas. He can produce real moments of magic out of nothing.
He can produce real moments of magic out of nothing. It’s even worse trying to work out what he’s going to do when you play against him.Wakefield Trinity’s Craig Huby
“But it’s even worse trying to work out what he’s going to do when you play against him.
“You just have to try and work together as a team to combat him. It’s been well documented he’s been struggling off the field but as long as he’s getting what he needs that is the main thing.
“I hope he is. Everybody knows what a talent he is on it and hopefully he can get back to his best. Just not on Saturday!”
Huby is looking forward to the game after being rested for last week’s Challenge Cup sixth round win at Dewsbury Rams – the only fixture he has missed since joining from Huddersfield in the off-season.
“It was good to have the week off having played every match and done some decent minutes, too,” said the experienced front-row, who turns 31 tomorrow.
“I even managed to get off for a spa for a couple of days in Harrogate, took the kids and had a total break from the game which was nice.
“But I am looking forward to getting back out there now and continuing the momentum we’ve been building up at Wakefield. It’s exciting what’s happening here.”
Chris Chester’s side are seeking a fourth straight win and have happy memories of Newcastle having seen Jacob Miller famously kick a 50m drop goal to beat Catalans Dragons 12 months ago.
“I am a fan of Magic,” added Huby, who returns to the squad with captain Danny Kirmond and in-form winger Ben Jones-Bishop who were also given the night off at Dewsbury.
“It’s something a little bit different and it’s obviously great playing at football stadiums like Newcastle’s too.
“You get to see the other side of things and how they are treated a little with their facilities. It is a real eye-opener.
“It will be a tough game for us, though. Even though Widnes have not been getting results they have still been playing some decent rugby and the occasion might help them as well.”
Meanwhile, Huby has thrived at Belle Vue after securing a deal from Huddersfield where he had spent a frustrating two years following his move from hometown Castleford.
He said: “I’ve definitely loved it. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and it didn’t take long to settle in at all.
“I think it shows out on the field how much the boys enjoy playing with each other and hopefully we’ll get a few more of them signed on again for next year so we can carry this on.”