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Dragon slayers

Stevo Posted 4th April 2008 view comments

This is going to be a tight encounter, but conversely one of the most open games we might see this season.

By tight I mean there is little to choose between two sides that are in form. And by open it means we are going to see two sides who love nothing more to throw the ball around - and two coaches that encourage it.

Giants: plenty of firepower

Giants: plenty of firepower

I can recommend plonking yourself down on the sofa for this one folks, because it could well turn out to be a simple case of who scores the most wins.

I know that sounds obvious, but both sides ship tries and both sides score tries, so it could well be a real old shoot-out.

Earlier in the season, Huddersfield were not the same side you will see on Friday night. It does take teams time to settle into their stride, to get to know the new signings and their own strengths and weaknesses.

I made comment earlier in the season that Brown was not even playing as a stand-off, more of a left centre, but credit to Sharp and the lad himself, that has changed. Now he is doing what is expected of him, Huddersfield going forward at least, have clicked.

Stevo
Quotes of the week

HUDDERSFIELD v CATALANS
Live on Sky Sports
7.30pm, Friday, Sky Sports 1

But the simple problem Jon Sharp had was that his half-back pairing of Kevin Brown and Luke Robinson just weren't clicking.

I made comment earlier in the season that Brown was not even playing as a stand-off, more of a left centre, but credit to Sharp and the lad himself, that has changed. Now he is doing what is expected of him, Huddersfield going forward at least, have clicked.

They have firepower across the park. Rocket Rod Jensen, Paul Whaturia, Jamahl Lolesi and Robinson himself all know there way across the whitewash and the Catalans will know they will have to be switched on when it's time to defend.

Encouragement

But as much as there has been genuine progress down there in the south west of France this season, that has still been the biggest problem for Mick Potter.

They have dropped points in two home games in the last few minutes when they just seemed to panic and lose concentration. I am sure Mick will be more than aware of that, but that is the last thing he needs on home soil, given the problems they still have on their travels.

There's no doubt the travelling and having to do things so differently does affect them, but they can take encouragement from the Easter win in London.

And they can take encouragement from the return of Jerome Guisset. He is the leader of their pack and much as both these sides can chuck it about, they both have big, big sets of forwards who won't take a backward step.

Behind that Catalans pack though, there has been some real Gallic flair on show this season. Watch out for Adam Mogg at centre, because this lad has been a revelation again this season and has to be one of the very best in Super League right now.

Remember how we all wondered how Catalans would fare without Stacey Jones? Well it hasn't been the huge problem some thought it might be, thanks to Thomas Bosc. Talk about stepping into the breach - he has assumed the role of playmaker and done exceptionally well.

And if Huddersfield give away any penalties within sight of the posts, Bosc is one of the best kickers around.

Stevo says

Home win - I am expecting a real shoot-out here because two teams are packed with firepower behind two ferocious packs. Those forwards will be thrashing it out but those backs will be waiting to exploit any gaps that appear and both sets are high on confidence having hit some form lately. But despite that win over Harlequins, Catalans on the road still have huge problems and that, could well be the deciding factor in a tight, tight affair.

Stevo's star men

Kevin Brown and Thomas Bosc - If it's as close I expect, it could come down to a flash of magic from either side and these two could be the ones to provide it. Brown is finally taking on the attack and allowing Robinson some freedom, but also starting to pose serious questions of any defence he comes up against. As for Bosc, saying the Catalans have not missed Stacey Jones tells you just how well he is playing...

Huddersfield by 1-5pts is 11/2 with Sky Bet. To have a flutter click here!

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