Rugby League: Back the Giants to stamp their authority on visiting Vikings

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RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) highlights the value for Friday night’s Super League clash between Huddersfield and Widnes.

Huddersfield v Widnes | Friday 20:00

With the split in the league just around the corner, Round 21 of Super League has taken on added importance for many teams. None more so than the Huddersfield Giants, who welcome Widnes Vikings to the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday.

Huddersfield

Despite a poor start to the season, the Giants have recovered tremendously well and put together an impressive run of form that has left them in contention for a top-eight finish.

Rick Stones’ side have banished the memory of an eight-game losing streak earlier in the season – including a humbling home defeat to second tier side Swinton Lions in the Challenge Cup – to recover and take seven points from the last 10 available.

Last weekend’s 36-20 defeat to Salford was the Giants’ first defeat in four and given the Red Devils flying form this season, came as no surprise. That defeat however, highlighted one major positive for the Giants – points scoring.

Since ending their losing streak, the Giants have scored 20+ points in nine of their last 11 games – averaging an impressive 28 points over the period. Compare this to an average points score of 17 in their first nine games, their increased ability to score points has been the main reason for their improvement in form.

Furthermore, star players such as half back Danny Brough and winger Jermaine McGillvary have finally started to show the class that earnt them both places in the Super League team of the year last season.

Brough has contributed 17 try assists this year – the third highest in the league – and McGillvay has chipped in with 13 tries – the eighth best so far this season. The classy winger is also the second highest meter maker in the league with an impressive 2,555 meters made already this season.

Both players are in the squad for this one and are pivotal to any Huddersfield success.

Widnes

Like the Giants, Widnes have recovered from a poor run of form in recent weeks to record three wins in their last five.

Amongst them was an impressive 28-20 win over the Leeds Rhinos, a game in which mid-season signing Rangie Chase start to show some of the skill level that won him the 2011 Man of Steel. The loan signing of the former England international has been instrumental in helping move the Vikings from the foot of the table.

Despite an upturn in form the Vikings have continued to struggle on the road. The three recent wins were all home and you have to go back as far as 1st April to find their last win away from the Stobart stadium. That win against Leigh is their only win away from home this season and it has been this form that has been their downfall.

Likewise, their inability to keep teams out away from home has been alarming. They have conceded an average of 29 points when not at home this season and Denis Betts’ side will need to reverse this trend to stand any chance here.

The betting angle

Whilst both teams have improved in recent weeks, the stats show that Huddersfield score plenty of points and Widnes concede plenty.

Further research shows that in their last four away fixtures, Widnes have conceded an average of 5.25 tries per-match, whilst at home, Huddersfield have scored and average of 4.5 tries.

Given these figures, Sky Bet’s offer of Huddersfield to score Over 5 Tries at 11/10 looks generous.

The importance of winger Jermaine McGillvary has previously been mentioned and with good reason. He currently has six tries in his last six games for the Giants and Betfred’s 4/5 is fantastic value and should be secured early.

Those looking for a bit more value, check out Sky Bet’s Request A Bet tab which doubles these two bets for a juicy 2/1 enhancement.

Best Bets

Huddersfield Giants v Widnes Vikings – Huddersfield Giants to score Over 25.5 Points (11/10)

Huddersfield Giants v Widnes Vikings – Jermaine McGillvary to score a try at anytime (4/5 Betfred)

Huddersfield Giants v Widnes Vikings – Back the double (2/1 SkyBet)

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