HUDDERSFIELD Giants are one win away from reaching the Super League play-offs!
With big top-six rivals Warrington suffering a 36-16 defeat at St Helens last night, a win at home to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow (4.00) would book the Giants a place in the play-offs for the first time.
That was confirmed with Warrington’s latest defeat as St Helens secured the minor premiership, with the Wolves still one point behind the Giants but now with just one game remaining.
But with fourth-placed Hull grabbing a shock 17-6 victory at Leeds in last night’s other game, it means the Giants’ hopes of finishing fourth have suffered a blow.
It’s a position that could still be achieved if the men from the Galpharm win tomorrow and again at Hull KR in the final game of the regular season a week today, and Hull are beaten at home by Bradford next Friday.
Those set of results would be highly significant, with the team finishing fourth guaranteed a home tie in the first weekend of the play-offs on September 21 and 22.
But even though Giants coach Jon Sharp is fully aware of all the various permutations, he is determined to keep his feet – and those of his players – firmly on the ground.
“It would be naive of me to say we haven’t had a look at what all our play-off rivals are doing,” said Sharp.
“But obviously what they do is not our main priority, it’s what we do.
“Winning five of our last six matches has put us in an excellent position to reach the play-offs for the first time.
“Yet, right now, those results mean absolutely nothing.
“We are all fully aware that if we are to finish in the top six we have to beat Wakefield tomorrow, and we know that’s not going to be easy.
“They come to us knowing they have to win to keep in the play-off race themselves and that makes them a very dangerous opponent indeed.
“So we know we have to be as focused as we possibly can to face Wakefield and not get embroiled in the play-off race.
“If we can play well and beat Wakefield then everything else will take care of itself.
“Only once this game is out of the way can we allow ourselves to think about Hull KR and what a win that day would mean.”
Giants chief Sharp was today looking to finalise his side, with a late fitness test on former Wakefield back-rower Steve Snitch (knee) the main issue.