FIRED-UP Larne Patrick is desperate to help the Huddersfield Giants secure a hat trick of 2013 triumphs over Leeds Rhinos and prove he deserves a regular Super League starting spot in the process.
The 25-year-old prop admitted he was ‘gutted’ to be dropped for Huddersfield’s last top-flight clash at Hull KR when the second-placed Giants suffered a shock 35-28 defeat to slip five points behind leaders Wigan.
That fifth setback of the season hit Patrick hard, particularly as it also enabled third-placed Warrington to close to within one point of Huddersfield.
And the explosive front-row forward is determined to do whatever he can to make sure the Giants remain on course to secure a top-two Super League finish by inflicting another defeat on champions Leeds at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday (3.00).
“Beating Leeds is always special, and I’m doing everything within my power to make sure I’ll be part of another win against them this weekend,” said the popular prop.
“I was gutted to miss out against Hull KR the other week. No player likes having to watch from the stand, especially when your teammates are struggling.
“But that’s made me even more determined to get back out there and do what I can for the side.
“Because of the break for last Friday’s England v Exiles game it’s now three weeks since I last played – although it feels even longer!
“The good thing is that it’s really freshened me up and cleared up the niggles I had. It’s up to me to make sure that’s reflected in the way I play, because I don’t want to miss out again this season.”
But even though the Giants are favourites to back up their 32-8 League triumph at Headingley in March and 24-8 Challenge Cup win in May with a third success against the injury-ravaged Rhinos this weekend, Patrick is taking nothing for granted.
“We’re preparing as if we’re playing a full-strength Leeds side,” he revealed.
“We’ve taken little notice of the fact they’ve got so many first-choice players missing because the quality of the youngsters taking their places is so high.
“If we fall into the trap of being complacent, they’ll beat us. No-one at the Giants is planning for that to happen.”