7 Jun 2019

THE LOWDOWN: GIANTS V TIGERS

All the information you need as Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers meet at the Jungle tonight

The Brief

Both sides had a week off last week, with the game before that being the Dacia Magic Weekend. The Giants had a magical 55-2 win over Hull FC at Anfield, whilst the Tigers lost out the league leaders St Helens, 36-16.

The Teams

The Opposition

The Tigers have had a very up and down season so far, winning eight and losing eight of their opening 16 Betfred Super League games.

Castleford started the season with four consecutive wins in the league. They started the season with a 20-4 victory over the Catalans Dragons. This was followed by their first away victory of the season, a 26-18 victory at Hull FC. A 40-6 win at the London Broncos was then followed by a 32-16 win against Hull KR.

Their first loss of the season came at Warrington, losing 24-10 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. They responded well, beating the Salford Red Devils 24-20 the following week. St Helens visited the Mend-A-Hose Jungle the following week and beat Cas 42-12. Six days later and the Tigers lost in their first golden point game of the season, a 21-20 defeat to the Leeds Rhinos after a Brad Dwyer drop-goal.

A 38-28 victory against the Wigan Warriors followed their agonising defeat the week before.

In the only other meeting between the Giants and the Tigers so far this year, the Giants emerged as 20-18 victors at the John Smith’s Stadium. A narrow victory followed the next week for Cas, a 28-26 win over Yorkshire rivals Wakefield Trinity. A 37-16 defeat in the South of France at the Catalans Dragons followed.

Form

Both sides will come into this game hoping to improve their form from the last five games. The Giants have won two of their last five, whilst Castleford have won one of their last five games.

The Giants lost 50-19 at the Warrington Wolves at the end of April, and that was followed by a narrow 26-25 defeat at home to Wakefield Trinity. A narrow 22-16 loss to high flyers St Helens followed in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

The last two games the Giants have won though. A 30-22 win against Hull KR dragged the Giants further away from the drop-zone before that massive 55-2 win against Hull FC at Anfield.

Similarly to the Giants, Castleford had lost their first three of their last five games. A narrow 6-4 loss at the Wigan Warriors was followed by a 26-14 defeat at home to Warrington. A 28-12 defeat to Hull FC in the FA Cup followed that.

They then visited Headingley for the second time this season, and won 30-8, before they lost 36-16 the St Helens in their most recent game.

Key Players

Peter Mata’utia

One of the main key players for the Tigers will be fullback, Peter Mata’utia. The fullback has taken on the goal kicking responsibilities for the Tigers, so his kicking could prove key in a tight game. Mata’utia has eleven try assists so far this season, so stopping him could go some way to helping the Giants get a result. The fullback has also ran 1539 metres so far this season too, so he is a willing ball carrier to help his side push up the pitch.

Darnell McIntosh

His opposite number is Giants born and bred, Darnell McIntosh. The fullback has made 1671 metres himself so far this season, with an average gain of 7.7 metres everytime he has the ball in his hands. On top of that, McIntosh has assisted nine tries so far this season, as well as scoring eight of his own.

Key Battle

Suaia Matagi v Liam Watts

In what will be a heavyweight battle on Friday night, the forward packs for both sides will need to be at their best if they want to win the game.

Liam Watts is the third highest metre maker in Super League this season, the highest metre maker if you only include forwards, making 2028 metres so far this year, with an average gain of 7.24 metres per carry. Matagi carries the ball for an average of 7.11 metres from the 1251 metres that he has made so far this season.

The props from both sides have each made seven errors so far this season, so keeping that as low as possible on Friday will be key.

One final key stat ahead of Friday’s game will be the missed tackles. Watts has missed 46 tackles so far this season, whilst Matagi has missed 29 in his 16 games for the Giants in the Betfred Super League.

Previous Meeting

As noted earlier, the only other meeting between the two sides this season was a tight affair. The Giants emerged as 20-18 victors at the John Smith’s Stadium, and this Friday’s game has all the potential to be just as close.


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