Robinson takes a game at a time
Form team Catalan Dragons have the chance to move to within a point of the current Engage Super League pacesetters tomorrow, but coach Trent Robinson is still refusing to look at the table.
The Dragons, who have lost just one of their last 10 league matches, are the major improvers in 2011 after collecting the wooden spoon last season and they were the big winners last weekend when all four teams above them dropped points.
A win over Huddersfield Giants at the Shay tomorrow evening would consolidate their position in the play-offs and maintain their outside chances of repeating their top-four finish of 2008.
“We’re going pretty good,” said Robinson, whose side completed the double over Crusaders RL last Saturday with a 31-18 success in Perpignan.
“We were not as good at the weekend as we would have liked but we got the win.
“The (other results) re-grouped us all a bit again and it makes it interesting for the top four and the top eight.
“But I’ve said over and over it’s never been a focus. We still haven’t talked about it.
“We’ve not been setting those goals, the focus has been on the games and that’s what is working for us. We’re not going to change our focus now because of a couple of results.”
Catalan’s stunning run began in April with a 22-20 win at then leaders Warrington Wolves and includes a remarkable double over champions Wigan Warriors and a victory over Huddersfield in Perpignan.
“We’re proud of all our results but we’ve been especially proud of our results against some of the bigger teams and this is definitely another challenge for us,” said Robinson. “We get excited by these games.”
Huddersfield, who are playing the second of three matches at the Shay while the Galpharm Stadium pitch is re-laid, avenged their defeat in Perpignan with a 30-16 Carnegie Challenge Cup win over the Dragons.
“It’s fair to say each side knows quite a bit about the other,” said Giants coach Nathan Brown. “They have been two good contests and we know they are a very physical side with a lot of talented players in their roster.
“Trent Robinson is doing a great job down there and, from a consistency point of view, they have been in the top two or three sides for the last couple of months.”
Huddersfield, who can go top at least for 24 hours, have five players returning as they look to bounce back from a surprise 13-10 defeat at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last Sunday, including full-back Scott Grix.
Harlequins RL will give a debut to half-back Kyle Briggs and are boosted by the return of Luke Dorn for the visit of Wakefield as they look for their first league win since March.
The attacking full-back scored six tries in Quins’ opening 10 matches to help them top the table but he has been sidelined by hamstring trouble over the last six weeks.
Wakefield have Motu Tony at full-back after he became the club’s 17th debutant of the season last Sunday and coach John Kear has still not finished his recruitment.
Kear has confirmed an interest in signing Leeds Rhinos prop Luke Burgess, who is available for a loan spell until he moves to Australia at the end of the year, but will face competition from Castleford Tigers as they look to plug the gap created by the imprisonment of Martin Aspinwall.
“There’s certainly interest from my point of view,” Kear said. “He’s a really good player. I don’t think there will only be us interested.”