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Super 8s semi-final previews

Thursday

Wigan Warriors vs Huddersfield Giants

Wigan Warriors host Huddersfield Giants in the first of the Super League semi-finals on Thursday night at the DW Stadium.

The Warriors did all they could in their pursuit of the League Leaders’ Shield by thumping Castleford Tigers 47-12. Whilst Huddersfield had the two points snatched from their grasp in the last seconds against Leeds Rhinos with Ryan Hall’s late try winning the game.

Shaun Wane has already said his side will be fired up for the clash saying his, “players were hurting from not getting the trophy on Friday.” Whilst hinting they will use that as “motivation” heading into the semi-finals.

Paul Anderson will be hoping to also use their defeat to galvanise his troops but you have to wonder mentally how tough it was to lose in those circumstances and how much the game took out of his side.

Wigan have won all three meetings this season and the last time they faced each other at the DW Stadium 24-16 in a game which saw Joel Tomkins score a brace.

Shaun Wane has kept faith with his previous 19-man squad and named an unchanged side for their clash with the Giants.

Huddersfield bring in Christ Bailey and Jake Conner with Kruise Leeming and Daniel Smith losing their places in the 19-man squad.

Wigan Warriors by 16

Friday

Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens

Leeds Rhinos will host St Helens after winning the League Leader’ Shield in dramatic fashion in the final round of the Super 8s.

The Shield looked to be slipping into the grasps of Wigan but with seconds to go Ryan Hall gathered Danny McGuire’s grubber kick before racing away for the match-winning try.

The trophy, coupled with the Challenge Cup success over Hull KR, now means the Rhinos are on course for the treble but will be put through their paces against a St Helens side eager for a response.

Keiron Cunningham saw his side slump to a disappointing 32-16 defeat at home to Warrington Wolves, which could have sent the side top, albeit it momentarily with results going against them.

The two clubs have come up against each other four times this season with Leeds winning three including knocking Saints out of the Challenge Cup at the semi-final stag 24-14. However despite this St Helens actually beat Leeds in the Super 8s with a 32-18 victory at Headingley.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott has made two changes to his squad with Stevie Ward ruled out through injury. But on more positive news Jimmy Keinhorst is included following his recent injury and there is places for Josh Walters and Ash Handley.

For Saints they make one change with Man Of Steel contender Alex Walmsley returning at the expense of Luke Thompson.

Leeds Rhinos by 12

Published on October 1 2015 for Rugby AM.

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