Huddersfield Giants V Wigan Warriors preview: Here is everything you need to know ahead of Friday's game
Wigan Warriors travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to take on Huddersfield Giants on Friday night (K.O. 7.45pm).
Matty Peet’s side head into this game on the back of a defeat to Catalans Dragons.
The Warriors will be hoping to replicate the form they showed in the games against Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers, where across the two fixtures they posted a total of 96 points without conceding.
Here is some of the key information on the Giants ahead of Friday’s game:
Huddersfield have won two of their opening three games so far this season.
Following their 16-26 defeat to Warrington Wolves at the end of February, they bounced back with an 8-0 win away to Wakefield Trinity.
They looked in good form last time out, as they overcame Castleford Tigers with a 36-6 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Giants will be looking to build on what they did in the 2022 campaign.
After finishing third in the regular season table, they were left disappointed in the play-offs, with Salford Red Devils knocking them out in the eliminators.
Last year also saw the club reach the Challenge Cup final, where they were defeated by the Warriors at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Ian Watson is into his third season with the Giants, after joining the club in 2021.
The former Wales international started his coaching career with Swinton Lions, before spending a lengthy spell with Salford Red Devils.
In his last two seasons at the AJ Bell, he guided the club to the Grand Final and the Challenge Cup final, ultimately losing both.
The Giants finished ninth in Watson’s first year in charge, but saw a significant improvement in his second campaign.
Despite adding another final defeat to his CV, there were still plenty of positive signs to suggest more big occasions could be on the way.
Huddersfield certainly have plenty of talent in their squad, with plenty of depth in some areas in particular.
It’s strange to think Will Pryce didn’t even start in last week’s game against Castleford.
The impact he made upon entering the field, which saw him named man of the match, was certainly a point proven by the 20-year-old.
Ahead of the campaign, the Giants added Esan Marsters to their ranks.
The centre has proved dangerous with the most offloads in the competition (10) so far.
Meanwhile, the experience of Chris McQueen is still proving crucial.
The 35-year-old, who has scored twice this season, won the Lance Todd Trophy in last year’s Challenge Cup final.
Wigan met Huddersfield on three occasions last season.
In the game at the DW Stadium, Peet’s side came out on top.
Liam Farrell claimed a brace for the Warriors, while Jake Bibby and John Bateman were on the scoresheet as well in a 22-12 win.
Meanwhile, in their previous meeting at the John Smith’s Stadium, it was Huddersfield who came away with the two points, as both coaches rotated their sides.
Matty Nicholson and Sam Halsall went over for two tries each for Wigan, but they proved to be nothing more than consolations in a 32-22 defeat.
The last time these two teams went head-to-head was the Challenge Cup final back in May.
A late-winning try from Liam Marshall gave the Warriors a narrow 16-14 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the club won the competition for the 20th time.
Jai Field and Harry Smith were also on the scoresheet that day.
Super League History
Wigan have overcome the Giants in 38 of the meetings between the two sides in Super League, including wins in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 play-offs.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield have beaten the Warriors on 17 occasions, and there have also been two draws between the clubs.
The biggest scoreline between the two was a 68-6 victory for Wigan back in 2000.
Huddersfield Giants- W W L
Wigan Warriors- L W W L
Elsewhere This Weekend
Wigan Warriors reserves are also in action this weekend, as they take on the Giants away from home, at Huddersfield Laund on Saturday (K.O. 10.30m).
John Winder’s side started their campaign earlier this month with a 12-12 draw away to Castleford Tigers.
Jack Farrimond and Maddox Jeffrey were both on the scoresheet for the Warriors, who needed a late penalty from the former to come away with something from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the first PDRL festival of the year takes place at Robin Park Arena, where Wigan will face Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos.
Across the road from the club’s training ground, the Warriors also get their wheelchair season underway.
Reigning champions Halifax Panthers are the visitors to Robin Park Leisure Centre, with things getting underway at 11am.
It is key for Wigan to bounce back this week, but it won’t be easy against a tough opposition.
Peet’s side are capable of beating any team in Super League; it’s just about giving themselves the best chance of doing so.
We have seen their defensive excellence at times this season, but they need to cut down the errors so they’re not completely overwhelmed at times.
There have been some good signs, and it’s a positive in itself that they have a few more gears to go up.
While the Giants will not make it easy, there is no reason why Wigan can't get back to winning ways.
It is set to be a close one, and every point should matter.