Quins RL go into Sunday’s game away at the Galpharm Stadium on the crest of a three match unbeaten run, but a hectic travel schedule across the Easter period, which saw the team make two trips to the South of France and back in as many weeks has taken its toll. The team looked very tired in the closing stages of the hard fought draw against Wakefield last Saturday and injury worries are emerging on the horizon.
The apparent inability of Scott Hill to play a full match is a concern for Quins fans. The former Kangaroo playmaker has struggled to find a fluent relationship with his teammates; not helped by a persistent bout of flu, but has shown flashes of brilliance and there are growing signs that an understanding is gradually building. There will be no reunion for the Paul brothers, with both Robbie and Henry out for the meeting, but key organisers Danny Orr and Mark McLinden are named.
Zebastian “Lucky” Luisi, who suffered a hand injury pre-season, comes into the squad for the first time in place of the injured Chris Melling. Whether Luisi makes it into the final seventeen will probably depend on whether Hill starts at standoff with McLinden at fullback or whether he plays from the bench as an impact player. With Paul dropping out of the back-row and former Huddersfield forward Jonny Grayshon still out with a hamstring injury a potential opportunity opens up for youngster Michael Worrincy to join skipper Rob Purdham and Lee Hopkins in the back-row.
Huddersfield had a horror start to the season, dropping their first seven games, albeit most by the smallest of margins resulting in them having the second meanest defence is the league behind St Helens, but ominously for Quins they have won their last three games. The Giants ability to remain competitive even during such a bad losing streak should send out warning signals to Quins coach Brian McDermott whose side has frequently switched off during games and has regularly faded in the closing stages of both halves, particularly in their most recent game when the signs of fatigue were obvious.
The key danger men for Quins to watch will be former London Bronco Chris Thorman and explosive hooker/halve Brad Drew. In the backs Martin Aspinwall and Jamahl Lolesi offer plenty of attacking threat whilst the Giants boast one of the most mobile packs in Super League featuring the likes of Ryan Hudson, Chris Nero and Stephen Wild.
This match presents an intriguing clash, both sides are unbeaten in three games; Quins lapses in intensity may come to haunt them against the parsimonious Huddersfield defence, but the fans will still be hoping that the Orr – Hill – McLinden axis has the arsenal to cut down the Giants resurgence!