HUDDERSFIELD Giants are ready to meet fire with fire when they host champions Leeds Rhinos in Sunday’s home Super League XVIII clash at the John Smith’s Stadium (3.00).
That’s the message from prop Craig Kopczak as the Giants look to secure a 2013 hat trick of triumphs over their illustrious West Yorkshire rivals.
Huddersfield have already beaten the Rhinos at Headingley in March and knocked them out of the Challenge Cup in May, and are red-hot favourites to make it three on the trot this weekend.
While the Giants have an almost fully-fit squad, Leeds could have up to eight players sidelined through injury or suspension.
But Kopczak has made it clear the Huddersfield pack won’t be taking their injury-hit opponents lightly and are bracing themselves for an initial Rhinos charge.
“When Leeds beat Widnes on Monday, their youngsters stepped up to the plate and really gave it to the opposition,” said the 26-year-old Wales captain.
“I thought the likes of Brad Singleton and Liam Sutcliffe were great off the back of what Jamie Peacock and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were doing, so we’ve got an idea of what they’re capable of doing.
“We fully expect them to throw everything at us early on and we’ve got to be on our guard to meet that threat.
“We’ve had two tough forward battles against them already this season and we don’t expect this weekend to be any different.
“The fact we’ve won the first two games shows we’ve got the pack capable of doing damage against them, and we intend to do exactly the same to them on Sunday.
“It’s not often you get the chance to get a hat trick of wins against Leeds, but we’re on the verge of doing that. It would be an outstanding achievement, and no-one at the Giants is thinking about failing on that score.”