LEEDS Rhinos coach Tony Smith has warned his players to read little into the injury crisis at Huddersfield and brace themselves for a tough engage Super League battle at Headingley tonight (8.00).
The former Giants chief is well aware that Huddersfield will field a depleted team, with Stanley Gene (shoulder) and Iain Morrison (ankle) definitely ruled out.
But with stand-off Chris Thorman (back) and Michael De Vere (groin) responding well to treatment, Smith knows the Giants pose a real threat.
And that's the message he has relayed to his players as the world champions look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
"I've read very little into the injury situation at the Giants," said Smith.
"They are obviously lacking some great players, but the squad they've announced is still one full of players that deserve our utmost respect.
"I've seen almost all of their games on video since we played them a few months ago, and they are a very competitive side.
"When they are at their very best they can produce some outstanding play, and if they produce that against us it won't be easy.
"Injuries or no injuries, we're expecting the Giants to be tough and committed.
"We need to be at our best to deal with the threat they pose."
Leeds ripped the Giants apart to win 54-10 at the Galpharm on March 6.
But Smith admits that result counts for nothing now.
"I was pleased with a lot of what we did on that particular day, but I know Huddersfield are capable of a lot more," said Smith.
"They'll be hard to beat."