Brough demands strong finish
Huddersfield Giants captain Danny Brough is urging his team to lift their game for the visit of Catalan Dragons as they look to press for a top-four finish in the First Utility Super League.
Last year's league leaders are currently eight points behind pacesetters St Helens after winning just one of their last three matches but victory over the seventh-placed Dragons would effectively secure a top-six finish and a home tie in the play-offs.
However, their skipper is looking beyond that.
"We have six games remaining and we will be looking to win all six," Brough said. "If we do, we have given ourselves the best possible opportunity to finish in the top four. We are confident we can achieve that.
"We want to be in the mix and give ourselves the best shot. It is something that we are knuckling down to try and achieve."
Huddersfield have won their last five home meetings with the Catalans, whose last away win over the Giants was in the 2009 play-offs, but coach Paul Anderson is still hurting from their 30-14 defeat in Perpignan earlier this year.
"Catalan are a good physical team who have found some consistency," Anderson said. "We will use the defeat out in France as inspiration. It's sixth versus seventh in the table and it provides a good challenge for us, we know we've got to step up."
Wigan coach Shaun Wane will warn his players against taking relegated Bradford for granted when they go to the Provident Stadium on Sunday.
The Warriors have won on their last four visits to Odsal and are highly fancied to continue that impressive run after gaining a record 84-6 win over the Bulls at the DW Stadium on Easter Monday.
"I do not think it will be like that this time," Wane said. "I am anticipating a team who are very hurt, who want to perform and go into the end of the Super League season as well as next year in a good manner.
"I am expecting a very motivated Bradford Bulls side on Sunday as Wigan are one of the biggest games of the season. I think it will be a different Bulls team than against Huddersfield last weekend and one which will give us a stiff test."
Wane's men are aiming for a fourth consecutive win to keep the pressure on St Helens while fifth-placed Warrington will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat by Widnes when they host Wakefield.
The Wildcats preserved their top-flight status through their own efforts by putting together a five-match unbeaten run under new coach James Webster and returning playmaker Tim Smit, and although they were well beaten by Catalan in France last week, Wolves assistant coach Willie Poching has been impressed by their resurgence.
"We have seen a lot change both in the way they are playing and in the way they are conducting themselves," Poching said. "They look happy, they look confident.
"They've had some changes in personnel; as well as the coach, and Tim Smith has also had a big influence on them. I think he has been very influential with what he's been doing; giving them some guidance and experience around the park.
"There are some dangerous aspects to their team that we need to be on our guard for. They will probably be disappointed with their performance last week and they'll come here with every confidence to turn that around."