Danny Brough insists avoiding Super League’s bottom four is the first priority as Huddersfield Giants prepare to play Catalans Dragons in Sunday’s Magic Weekend clash in Newcastle.
Supporters might be talking about Paul Anderson’s side keeping hold of their current top-four spot as they seek a Super 8s place in the second phase of the season.
However, with eight first-phase games still to go and the Giants five points above the two Hull sides, who are ninth and 10th, Brough says it’s crucial to build momentum.
“Yes, we want to finish as high up the table as we can,” said the skipper, who got a first hand look at St James’ Park at today’s Magic Weekend news conference.
“But it’s very tight, and every club is desperate to avoid finishing in one of those bottom four places and being dragged into a fight to stay in Super League.
“At this stage of the season, it’s all about trying to build some momentum, and another two points would be massive for us.”
It’s the second of three first-phase clashes with Catalans, who are two places and as many points behind the Giants after their impressive 58-16 home win over Wigan Warriors.
Huddersfield, who won 24-16 at Castleford Tigers last Thursday, beat the French side 38-14 at the John Smith’s Stadium last month.
But Brough warned: “it’s going to be tough, because they are a good team who have been in good form.
“Their halves, Todd Carney and Scott Dureau, have been playing well, and against Wigan, they looked very dangerous on the edges.
“When we played them last month, we scored a number of our tries off kicks, so they will work to nullify that and we may have to come up with some different strategies.
“It goes without saying they will be strong physically, because they always build their sides that way, so we have to be ready to match them.”