HULL coach Peter Sharp believes the Giants are the dark horses for the Super League crown.

The Australian brings his injury-hit squad to the Galpharm Stadium tomorrow, knowing his side will be in for a massive test.

With star signing Shaun Berrigan (bicep) joining Kirk Yeaman, Richard Horne, Garreth Carvell, Willie Manu and Richard Whiting on Hull’s substantial injury list, Sharp admits the Airlie Birds are doing it tough, even if they did beat Wigan 24-22 at the KC Stadium the week before.

And he has warned his players they will need to be at their very best against a Giants side who he believes have improved significantly.

“They are dark horses in this competition,” he said.

“In previous years they have been something of a dour side but they have brought in some quality players and are much more expansive.

“Last week’s outstanding win over Castleford will have given the Giants a lot of confidence.

“Any win is a confidence builder but to score 64 points against a team will, I am sure, lift you even more. The Giants have good balance throughout and a dangerous back division in which Rod Jensen is looking especially dangerous.”

Two of Hull’s youngsters, Tommy Lee and Danny Houghton, will be sharing the hooking duties in the absence of former Brisbane and Australian Test star Berrigan.

And Lee is bracing himself for a big battle in the forwards.

“Huddersfield have some tough forwards and it’s important we win the ruck area,” said Lee.

“The opening quarter will be important and we know we need to win the arm wrestle. We did against Wigan and it gave us a platform and we need to repeat that tomorrow.”