CHRIS NERO believes Saturday’s Super League clash between Bradford Bulls and former club Huddersfield will be a battle between two of this season’s top-six sides.
The West Yorkshire rivals meet at Odsal (6.00) looking to secure their first top-flight triumphs of the season.
While the Giants were beaten 30-10 at home to champions Leeds Rhinos on Sunday, Nero and the Bulls were suffering a shock 26-24 defeat at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Those results have raised the stakes this weekend.
But by the end of the regular season the 27-year-old Australian, who celebrates his birthday today and left the Giants at the end of the last Super League campaign, is sure the two clubs will be in the play-off mix.
“It was obviously a bad start for both of us,” conceded the back-rower.
“But I don’t think it will be too long before we’re both winning and challenge for a place in the six.
“Obviously, we were disappointed to lose at Wakefield. To be honest, we only had ourselves to blame, we were guilty of over-playing and that allowed them to get back into the game.
“And, from what I can gather, it sounds as if it was a similar story for the Giants.
“I know they’ll be disappointed to have lost, but I think they were handed one of the most difficult opening-day tasks. It was the Giants’ first game, while Leeds had played Souths (the top Australian NRL club) and Hull KR in the early Super League game. They were already far more battle-hardened than Huddersfield.
“So, we expect to see far more from them this weekend.
“Having been part of the club for four years, I know they’ll be a really strong force again this year, because of the signings they’ve made.”