LUKE ROBINSON will play for the Giants against Super League champions Wigan Warriors at the Galpharm on Friday.

The 26-year-old hooker missed the start of the season after undergoing major shoulder and elbow surgery last November.

But the England Four Nations hero has received the all-clear to play and goes straight into the Giants side for the big Sky TV showdown against the unbeaten Warriors, much to the delight of head coach Nathan Brown.

“Robbo’s fit and ready to go,” confirmed the Galpharm chief.

“This is obviously a big game for any player to be making a return, but he’s such a good player – as well as being as tough as they come – that we’ve no hesitation in getting him back out there.

“He’s been looking good in training, and we’re all looking forward to see him back on the competitive field.”

source: Examiner

Winger Jermaine McGillvary scored twice as Huddersfield romped to a 50-16 victory over Bradford to move top of the engage Super League.

The shell-shocked Bulls never recovered from gifting McGillvary the first of his tries after just 72 seconds when two Bradford players collided while attempting to reach a pass.

Leroy Kudjoe pounced and sent McGillvary away into the corner.

Kudjoe added a second try five minutes later while McGillvary’s kick through on 10 minutes left David Fa’alogo in for an easy score.

Bradford’s miserable start continued on 15 minutes when Bryn Hargreaves failed to execute a simple rollback after he had been tackled in midfield to gift the Giants a scrum down.

Huddersfield piled on the misery after that with three more tries before the break to lead 30-6 at half-time.

Scott Grix rode two tackles and evaded three defenders on the line to register a fine solo effort, while Larne Patrick and Graeme Horne polished off slick moves.

McGillvary’s second try came on 44 minutes and the scoring pace did not even slow when Huddersfield’s influential Luke O’Donnell was sin-binned four minutes later for a professional foul on Brett Kearney.

Danny Brough, who converted six of Huddersfield’s nine tries, added a penalty on 52 minutes.

Dale Ferguson, on his home debut, romped into the corner on 63 minutes and then Horne added his second try soon after to help bring up the half century.

Horne’s touchdown sparked a mass exit of Bradford fans, who missed a late resurgence.

Marc Herbert and Gareth Raynor both went over late on, with Patrick Ah Van converting Raynor’s score to continue his impressive kicking record this season.

He has now scored 18 goals from 22 attempts after also landing a conversion in the first half when Shaun Ainscough went over on 22 minutes.

source: Sporting Life

Ahead of their showdown with Bradford, Huddersfield have won three out of four of their games but Brown is furious that his players aren’t ruthless enough.

They coughed up four try chances to nearly let Harlequins sneak a win last week and Brown said: “We are letting ourselves down with our execution.

“It is all about discipline and consistency and we need to work very hard on both.”

Brown’s only selection problem is who to leave out. Keith Mason, Andy Raleigh and Danny Kirmond are fit again, while Jamie Simpson is pushing for his debut and Michael Lawrence is available after being rested.

Bradford have won their last two games but face four of the top sides in their next four games.

Craig Kopczak, who scored a hat-trick last week after only scoring three tries in the previous 81 games, said: “It’s vital that we keep the momentum going.”

New scrum half Marc Herbert plays his second game with boss Mick Potter warning: “He had a good debut but he needs to improve against Huddersfield because they are a tough team.”

Hooker Heath L’Estrange and centre Chev Walker are crocked.

source: News Of The World

No comments

KEN DAVY is confident of seeing the Giants secure top-flight success over Bradford Bulls at the Galpharm tomorrow (3.00) and reinforce his club’s current position as Yorkshire’s leading Super League side.

Victory over Bradford could take Huddersfield back to the top of the Super League XVI table.

Giants chairman Davy knows a win can’t be taken for granted against the resurgent Bulls.

But with the continuing growing status of his club under coach Nathan Brown, Davy is aware the Giants have a golden opportunity to fulfil one of his biggest dreams.

“When I took over as chairman (15 years ago), one of my aims was to see the Giants become Yorkshire’s top Super League club,” said the Giants owner, who is hoping to attract a crowd of around 10,000.

“Not too long ago we were trailing both Bradford and Leeds by some distance, but now it’s a different matter and we go into games against them expecting to win.

“Another victory over the Bulls tomorrow would continue our excellent recent record against them and further secure our status as one of Yorkshire’s top clubs.

“Once that has been established, we can then try and push on to our ultimate goal of being the best in Super League.

“But right now we have to focus fully on facing a resurgent Bradford this weekend in what should be a classic encounter.”

Source: Examiner

NATHAN BROWN has warned Bradford Bulls his Huddersfield Giants side are nowhere near their clinical best yet.

The Australian takes them to Grattan Stadium tomorrow having already defeated Warrington Wolves and Hull FC before heading to London to end Harlequins’ 100 per cent start.

However, he maintains they are far from the finished article and is expecting more improvements against Bradford, who themselves are seeking a third consecutive win.

“Our defence is going along pretty well as it has been for the last few years and we felt our attack, while we only got three tries against Harlequins, was a big improvement on the week before,” he said.

“We created lots of chances but we just didn’t have the killer instinct on the evening.

“We need to start finishing them now but Bradford are an improving side under Mick Potter.”

The hosts have certainly shown signs of progress following opening defeats to Leeds Rhinos and Wigan but they have been hurt by injuries.

Potter will hope James Donaldson, the 19-year-old England Knights back-row, suffers no effects after he continued his comeback from a knee reconstruction in the reserve game against Huddersfield earlier in the week.

Potter, who may hand a debut to 17-year-old hooker Adam O’Brien – brother of Bradford City left-back Luke – tomorrow, said: “Huddersfield have their sevens and sixes playing well and Nathan’s got his full-back (Scott Grix) playing a roving type role.

“He bobs up anywhere on the field and it works very well for them. He’s also got big men getting them forward.

“We’ll have to be careful of Huddersfield coming down the middle because they do it very well but it could be an open game if the conditions allow it because both sides like to play.”

source: Yorkshire Post

SCOTT GRIX is ready to tackle Bradford Bulls at the Galpharm and promised: “We’ll sharpen up our attack.”

The 26-year-old is already making impressive strides in filling the full-back boots vacated by Brett Hodgson as the Giants have established themselves at the top end of the Super League table.

But he believes there is more to come from both him and the team this term and aims to underline the fact when the back-to-form Bulls roll into town on Sunday (3.00).

“I’m enjoying myself and, while it’s only early days with four games played, I think we’ve made a reasonable start and have given ourselves something to build on for the rest of the year,” said the Halifax-born star.

“It has been a while since I’ve played at full-back over a number of games, which is why it was vital to get a full pre-season under my belt, and things can only get better from here – that’s the way I’m hoping things happen in any case.

“In terms of the team we are definitely looking to make more of things in an attacking sense.

“Over the first few games, people are generally a bit rusty as teams fly out of the blocks, but as long as your effort and fitness are right, you can pretty much get through on that.

“All our games have been a bit scrappy, to be honest, and we are no different to anybody else in that.

“Although we’ve won three games, we’ve never really got out of third gear in terms of attack. It’s a good thing we’ve been winning without really being on fire, but when it gets to the big games further down the track, you might only muster a couple of chances and we’ll need to take them.”

Grix has been one of coach Nathan Brown’s most consistent performers so far. Even in the solitary defeat at Castleford, he was one of very few players who could hold their heads high.

“We’ve got plenty of time on our side to work on things and get to where we want to be,” he added.

“It’s just a matter of keeping plugging away and, if we do that, we’ll be fine.

“The competition is going to be really close once again, there’s no doubt about that.

“People have talked a lot about surprises, but the two teams who have been at the top (Castleford and Harlequins) worked hard in pre-season and came out flying.

“We were under no illusions when we went down to play Quins last Friday that it would be tough because they weren’t at the top by a fluke, they had beaten some good teams along the way.”

Grix, who came up against his brother, Simon, on the opening day of the season when the Giants beat Warrington, added: “We had a little bit of a spell last year when, looking back, we might have taken a couple of games lightly and, if you do that, you are going to get turned over.

“If you want to be up the business end come later in the season then you have to be up to speed in every game.

“The next one for us is Bradford and I’m really looking forward to it. It has all the makings of a really good game, especially as Bradford are coming here having won two games on the trot.

“They look as though they are really starting to gel, although I hope it doesn’t happen fully until we’ve got them out of the way on Sunday!”

Giants officials are hoping for another bumper Galpharm turn-out for the derby clash.

source: Examiner

THERE are few tougher sportsmen than champion Aboriginal footballer Rod Jensen, but he says even he was not tough enough to put up with employment conditions at Djarragun College outside Cairns.

The former North Queensland Cowboys utility quit as the manager of the far north Queensland indigenous independent school’s Sports Academy at the end of January, frustrated at what he saw as a lack of accountability for government funding and a shocking lack of academic achievement.

“It was a highway to nowhere at Djarragun,” Jensen told The Australian.

In December last year, the board of Djarragun College appointed Cairns solicitor Jim Brooks to investigate complaints about the college, including allegations of bullying of staff, exaggerated enrolment figures and the alleged strip-search of a girl.

The college gets more than $10million a year in state and federal funding, and yesterday a spokesman for Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett said he “has referred the matter to his department”.

Jensen, a qualified teacher, began working at Djarragun’s Gordonvale campus at the end of 2009 after a year playing for the Huddersfield Giants in the British Super League competition.

A crucial part of his role was to run the Sporting Chance program – a $360,000-a-year federal government initiative to use sport to improve indigenous students’ attendance, attitude and academic results.

When he arrived at the school he was dismayed to find the program – for which the school had received funding for at least three years – was virtually non-existent.

His academy was getting full taxpayer funding to cater for 175 students, but fewer than half were turning up. Some were wandering the streets.

“There was no way the school would have let me suggest that because we had fewer kids we should get less funding,” he said.

Jensen said the program was not delivering, or even aiming to deliver, academic results, but instead the money was used to fund the school’s mainstream sport program.

Using the Sporting Chance funding, Jensen employed two teachers – a maths and science teacher and an English teacher – who would help with sport and focus on those students in the academy.

But Jensen said the school soon commandeered the two women to work as general classroom teachers, with Sporting Chance still paying their salaries.

Djarragun principal and chief executive Jean Illingworth yesterday denied that sport funding was misused and said she was unaware that fewer than half the students enrolled in the sports academy attended training or lessons.

“Rod did not come to me with this information, and the problem as I saw it was that Rod was not a good manager,” she said.

“The teachers were employed, but Rod could not get the academic progress from the students that was reasonable, and the teachers were brought on to staff.”

Jensen acknowledged some of the money was used to give students the chance to travel to sporting competitions.

“But Djarragun has been allowed to blur the edges too much and there is not enough accountability in the program itself (from the federal government),” he said.

Former Scotland captain Danny Brough is determined to make the most of his breakthrough with England after admitting he thought his chance had gone.

The much-travelled goal-kicking half-back switched his allegiance to England but failed to win a place in last year’s Four Nations Series However, his sparkling form for Huddersfield in the early rounds of Engage Super League XVI caught the eye of England coach Steve McNamara, who named him a week ago in his elite training squad.

“Steve came round the clubs and asked all the English-qualified players to have a meeting,” said Brough. “There were 17 of us at Huddersfield and I threw my hat into the ring for one last time. I think it’s my last chance at 28. There are that many good young kids coming through the system. I was over the moon when I ended up getting the phone call.”

He added: “I wish Scotland the best for the future but I think it was time to think about myself and hopefully I’ll get the chance to prove I am worthy to play for England. Playing against Australia and New Zealand is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Brough, who also played for York, Hull, Castleford and Wakefield, admitted he did not deserve a call-up in 2010 after initially struggling to settle in at his new club following a move two months into the season.

But he has benefited from a full pre-season’s training under Giants coach Nathan Brown and reckons he is currently playing the best rugby of his career.

“I did think my chance had gone because I didn’t play consistently for all the year,” he said.

“I would have a good game and then a bad game. If internationals don’t have a good game, it’s a steady game, whereas I might have had a good game followed by a bad one.

“The best players are consistent week in, week out and that’s what I want to achieve.

“My start to the season helped Steve pick me in the squad. I think I’m probably playing the best rugby I’ve played for quite some time, now that Nathan Brown has had a pre-season with me.”

source: Press Association

Frontline Index Team of the Round

1.      Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 857
2.      Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 624
3.      Michael Shenton (St Helens) 687
4.      Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves) 552
5.      Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 575
6.      Kevin Brown (Huddersfield Giants) 714
7.      Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors) 844
8.      James Graham (St Helens) 733
9.      Andy Ellis (Harlequins RL) 697
10.   Andy Lynch (Bradford Bulls) 700
11.   Ben Galea (Hull KR) 658
12.   Setaimata Sa (Catalan Dragons) 761
13.   Luke O’Donnell (Huddersfield Giants) 814

ENGLAND call-ups for nine of the squad will work wonders for the Giants over the course of this season.

That’s the confident prediction of versatile forward David Faiumu as the Galpharm club look to next Sunday’s home derby with Bradford Bulls and beyond.

Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe and Luke Robinson are linking up with the England elite training squad while, next week, Dale Ferguson, Michael Lawrence, Jermaine McGillvary, Larne Patrick and Shaun Lunt are with the Knights back-up squad.

It’s all good news for the Giants as far as Faiumu is concerned and he should know, having played 10 times for New Zealand, once for Samoa and 76 times for North Queensland Cowboys in the Australian NRL.

And he has set his heart on winning some silverware with Huddersfield before his newly-extended contract is up in 2013.

“We have high expectations at this club and the good thing is, after going as well as we did last season, that the younger guys here have got one more year’s experience and are one more year better for it,” he said.

“It means when you come up to the big games they know what to expect, and with nine of them being in these England squads it’s going to work wonders for our club and for our younger players coming through.

“It helps everyone. It is easy when you are playing with confident players because it makes your job easier.

“They feel good because they know they are playing well and you feel good because you know you can do your job off the back of that – so I’m sure these England lads will do wonders for us.”

The popular and talented 27-year-old from Wellington has been impressed with what he’s seen of homegrown products like Cudjoe, Lawrence and McGillvary coming through.

“I have to say that the best thing about all the young lads is that they’ve got good heads on their shoulders,” added Faiumu.

“They are good in that they don’t get ahead of themselves. I’ve seen a lot of guys in the game start out and think they’ve instantly made it, but that’s certainly not the case with any of ours.

“I’ve been here almost three years now, I’ve seen a lot of good young kids come through and they’ve all worked hard in training and fought hard to get places in the team.

“That makes us older guys work hard too because we know we’ve got these youngsters breathing down our necks and they certainly keep us on our toes.

“That’s good for the players and the club and it’s good to see everyone performing with confidence.”

Faiumu has no doubt the Giants – who included new men Ferguson and Jamie Simpson for the first time at The Stoop on Friday – have the ability to be successful.

“One of the reasons I signed here, and why I also signed an extended contract, is because I have the very good feeling that something big is on the way,” he explained.

“I would love to experience Wembley again, having gone through it in 2009 and finding it to be one of the highlights of my life, and to lift the trophy next time would be something special. Then again Old Trafford would be even bigger for the club, so these are the things which keep me going and why you do all the hard work in pre-season.”

source: Examiner