LUKE O’DONNELL can prove the Giants’ play-off inspiration.
That’s the view of newly-appointed vice-captain Luke Robinson as Huddersfield prepare to head to Hull FC for tomorrow’s do-or-die clash at the KC Stadium (6.00).
Former Australia Test back-row forward O’Donnell returned to action against Leeds Rhinos at the John Smith’s Stadium six days ago after a six-week hamstring injury and took the start of the contest by storm.
Although the 31-year-old was on the field for just 15 minutes before he was controversially shown the red card and was subsequently cleared, Robinson believes he still played an inspirational role in the Giants’ stunning 48-24 success over the world club champions.
And the England hooker is backing O’Donnell to provide a similar spark on the east coast this weekend and take the Giants to within two games of a first Super League Grand Final.
“What Luke gave us in his 15 minutes on the field was an inspiration to us all,” said Robinson, who is expected to be part of an unchanged side for tomorrow’s sudden-death fixture.
“His qualities make him an automatic pack leader and his ‘grunt’ really upsets the opposition.
“You could see how he was lifting the rest of the boys whenever he was involved, and that was reflected in the way we started the game. His contribution gave us all even more fire in our bellies.
“Obviously, we were gutted to see him sent off, particularly as we thought at the time there was nothing really in it. We were still concerned for Ian Kirke at the same time, though.
“And I think that made us all the more determined to get the job done. There was a case of wanting to carry on all of Luke’s initial hard work, so even when he was off the field he was helping us inspire us.
“All being well, we’ll see Luke give us something similar on the field tomorrow. If that’s the case we know we’ve got even more chance of beating Hull and giving it a real shot in this play-off series.”