Crabtree primed to take down Robins

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22nd February 2014

Eorl Crabtree is warning Hull KR that Huddersfield Giants are ready to pick up from where they left off against Wigan Warriors.

The Giants made an impressive start to their defence of the First Utility Super League leaders' shield with a 24-8 win over the champions at the DW Stadium a fortnight ago.

That game was brought forward to enable Wigan to fly to Australia for the World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters - which also ended in defeat - and left Crabtree and company kicking their heels last weekend.

Although Shaun Lunt and Larne Patrick are sidelined with injuries picked up against the Warriors, Crabtree says the team have benefited from the week off as they prepare to host Hull KR at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday.

"Before Wigan, I would have rather just got on with the next game but after the game was a totally different story," Crabtree said.

"It was very difficult with it being the first game because you are not used to the knocks and bruises so I was glad to have the weekend off.

"I needed the rest and I think the other lads have appreciated that too."

Rovers lost at Huddersfield in a pre-season friendly and are licking their wounds from an opening 34-6 home defeat by Leeds Rhinos.

Coach Craig Sandercock is looking for improvements and has identified Giants skipper Danny Brough, the 2013 Man of Steel, as the obvious threat.

"They have some strike players and they played extremely well against Wigan the other week so it's going to be a tough game," Sandercock said.

"If our middles can hold their gloves up and control the ruck, then that may limit some of the threats that Huddersfield have.

"Keeping the error count down will put us in good stead and we know that Danny Brough has arguably the best kicking game in Super League.

"If we turn over the ball too often then at some stage he will punish us."

The Robins' bid to spring a surprise has been dealt a blow with the loss of new signing Mick Weyman, who was handed a four-match suspension for a dangerous tackle on his Super League debut, and former Huddersfield duo David Hodgson and Graeme Horne, who are both injured.

"We feel as though we have a bit of depth in the forwards and can cover Mick for a couple of weeks," Sandercock said.

"The same applies to the backs as someone will have to step in there and do Dave's job."

Catalan Dragons must also plug gaps as they head to Castleford Tigers in Sunday's other game.

They are without forward Olivier Elima, the French national captain who begins a four-match ban, and scrum-half Thomas Bosc, who was injured in the Dragons' 36-34 defeat at Hull FC.

Scott Dureau is recalled in place of Bosc and Julian Bousquet and Antoni Maria are vying to take Elima's place. Former Leeds full-back Brent Webb has also been recalled to the 19-man squad.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell makes one enforced change to the team that won at Bradford, with Jordan Tansey returning at full-back in place of Luke Dorn, who has failed to recover from a groin injury sustained in that game.