CROWD favourite Jamahl Lolesi will put his injury woes to one side and look to inspire the Giants to a first Super League play-off success against Catalans Dragons at the Galpharm tonight (8.00).
The 28-year-old former New Zealand Test ace returns to action for the first time since last month’s Challenge Cup final and is part of a Huddersfield side which also includes David Faiumu (hamstring) and Keith Mason and Scott Moore, who have each served a two-match club suspension.
Although Lolesi is continuing to struggle with a stress fracture of the foot, he has made it clear tonight’s game is one he’s desperate to play in.
And he believes his fitness will hold out as Huddersfield aim to move to within 80 minutes of the Super League grand final at Old Trafford on Saturday, October 10
“This is semi-final footy, with no second chances, and it’s a game no-one wants to miss,” he said.
“Although I’m probably only about 90% fit and need eight weeks’ rest to fully recover, I know I can make a big contribution.
“I’ve been able to train with no ill effects over the past week or so, and I know that as soon as I get onto that field I’ll forget all about the injury.
“At this stage of the year, a lot of players are carrying knocks, but with the stakes so high you’re prepared to put in that little bit extra.
“These are the games you’ve been working towards all season, and it would take something pretty serious to prevent you from playing.”
The Giants start tonight’s Preliminary Semi-final as slight favourites, having completed the double over the Dragons this season.
But Lolesi is expecting a very tough test in order to set up a semi-final showdown next weekend against minor champions Leeds or St Helens.
“They’re a good side with quality players and as long as we aim up on defence everything else should fall into place,” added Lolesi, left.
“We know they’re a team who like to spoil and slow things down, but we’ve got the skill and experience to overcome this.
“We’re confident we can do it.”