Rugby League - Anderson cool before top-five clash

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson insists he will be paying little attention to Friday's top-five clash between St Helens and Warrington, even though the outcome could clinch his club's first piece of Super League silverware.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Anderson cool before top-five clash

View photo

Paul Anderson is only thinking about beating Wakefield on Sunday

The Giants, who have not finished top of the pile for 81 years, are three points clear of their only rivals Warrington with just two matches left of the regular season.

Victory over Wakefield at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday would secure the trophy and the Rugby Football League are making plans for chief executive Nigel Wood to be there to present it at the end of the match.

Huddersfield will already be guaranteed top spot by then if St Helens, coached by Anderson's predecessor Nathan Brown, do them a favour by beating Warrington at Langtree Park, not that either man is expecting Friday's game to be pivotal.

"I don't think Baloo (Anderson) needs any favours," Brown said. "I think he's sitting back smoking the pipe at the moment.

"They'll be league leaders for sure. They're playing sides that haven't got anything to play for.

"I can't imagine Huddersfield stumbling. Every player in their squad is fit and they've got a lot to play for. They don't need us to beat Warrington at all."

Anderson, who is in his first season as head coach after being Brown's assistant for nearly four years, says he has zero interest in Friday's game, although he will probably watch it.

"It's either that or Coronation Street, isn't it?" Anderson told a news conference at the John Smith's Stadium.

"Our destiny has always been in our own hands. If Saints win, good luck to them and well done Browny. If Warrington win, it's well done Tony (Smith). We've still got to do what we do on Sunday.

"I couldn't care less what happens on Friday as long as they knock hellfire out of each other.

"What this week means is getting two points. We don't achieve anything without getting the two points.

"If we allow our minds to wander about winning silverware, Wakefield will beat us. If we get the two points, we know we finish top of the competition."

Huddersfield are boosted by the return of hooker Shaun Lunt, whose form since he returned from a successful loan spell with Leeds has been a catalyst for their magnificent season.

Lunt, who won the Grand Final last October with the Rhinos, missed the Giants' last win against London Broncos 11 days ago with a shoulder injury sustained in their win at Wigan.

It means Anderson has the luxury of selecting from a full-strength squad, another factor behind the club's best ever Super League season.

"We've been able to show a lot of consistency in selection because of people being healthy," Anderson said.

"That's all credit to our strength and conditioning and medical people and the players bought well into what we're trying to achieve."

Wakefield, who have lost their last five matches to slip out of the play-off race, will be without prop Kyle Amor after he sustained a hand injury in training.

View comments (0)