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Hodgson warns don't underestimate Giants

By Nick Clowes 23/09/2010 10:48:39 AM Comments (0)

Former Wests Tigers star Brett Hodgson has dismissed the claim Huddersfield Giants have got nothing to lose when they travel to St Helens in this weekend's English Super League semi-final.

The Giants have been the surprise package in the play-offs, struggling to a narrow 18-12 victory over lowest-ranked side Crusaders before stunning Warrington 34-22 in the qualifying semi-final last weekend.

Huddersfield will again be the underdogs heading into the last-ever game at Knowsley Road on Friday evening after Saints chose them over table-topping Wigan in the controversial 'Club Call'.

But ex-Tigers full-back Hodgson, who will leave Huddersfield for Warrington during the off-season, has warned the Giants should not be taken lightly.

"I keep hearing that we have nothing to lose - of course we have," said former New South Wales State of Origin star Hodgson, who won the NRL title with Wests in 2005.

"We can lose out on a place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford so we've got just as much to lose at Saints.

"We were always confident going into the Warrington game that we could win - we weren't just going to go there and roll over just because everyone thought the Wolves were going to win.

"I'm not surprised Saints picked us in the Club Call. If I was in St Helens position, I would have picked Huddersfield because Wigan have been so consistent all year.

"We won't approach this game any differently than we have approached the rest of the Super League games this season. We'll just have 17 committed guys trying to win a match.

"I've had two great years at Huddersfield and it would be nice to go out on a high by getting to Old Trafford."

Hooker Danny Buderus insists Leeds Rhinos' Grand Final experiences will hold the key in their semi-final against Wigan Warriors.

Leeds beat the Warriors 27-26 in the qualifying play-off two weeks ago after Pat Richards missed a last minute kick to win the match for Michael Maguire's men.

The Rhinos have been the play-off kings in recent years, winning the last three Grand Finals at Old Trafford.

It was a disappointing season by Leeds' high standards - they finished fourth in the league after making a poor start to the season and were hammered 30-6 by Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

But former Newcastle Knights man Buderus believes all that will be forgotten if the Rhinos reach Old Trafford for the seventh time.

He said: "This group of players are very experienced when it comes to Grand Finals and that matters.

"You have to take your opportunities when they come along. I spent a decade at Newcastle and only appeared in one so you have to realise that these are special games.

"We are 80 minutes away from Old Trafford and we have to give everything we have got in order to get there.

"You never know when or if you are going to get another opportunity to play in a Grand Final so if there is a chance, you've got to take it."

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