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Riley: Hull defeat was not the best preparation for Huddersfield
Chris Riley hopes Wolves can continue their fine record against Huddersfield Giants tomorrow, Thursday
CHRIS Riley is hoping that Huddersfield’s walkover victory against Hull FC in last week’s preliminary play-off semi final will prove to be poor preparation for tonight’s huge semi final clash at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Black and Whites quickly crumbled under the pressure of Huddersfield’s efforts and slumped to a 76-18 defeat, and having established an early lead Giants could be said to have cruised to victory without ever finding top gear.
Riley believes that may not have prepared Paul Anderson’s men for the enslaught that awaits them in Warrington.
“Huddersfield played well, I wouldn’t say that they were at their best, but they did what they needed to do,” he said.
“Is that the best preparation for a semi final? Possibly not, but they weren’t strained either.
“But what is most important is concentrating on what we do, put the pressure on them and really test them in a way they weren’t against Hull.”
That said, the 25-year-old winger is under no illusions that his Wolves side face a tremendously difficult task if they are to reach Old Trafford for the second time in two years.
And Wolves’ record of eight wins in eight meetings with Giants offers him little comfort, either.
“It is nice to have those kind of records, but we have been on the other side of it with Saints and they are made to be broken,” he said.
“Huddersfield will look at it as an added incentive, but we just need to concentrate on playing our best rugby.”
Being at full strength for the first time all season will go some way to helping Wolves achieve that and while the focus recently has been on the return of Richie Myler and Brett Hodgson, the most significant comeback for Riley was made by Ryan Atkins against Catalan Dragons.
Riley has scored 19 tries from 31 appearances this term, 10 less than he managed in 34 games in 2012 and he believes the loss of Atkins and Myler has been detrimental to his scoring record this season.
“Ryan is one of the best centres in Super League and he is great to play alongside,” he said.
“It is always good to have that familiar combination with him and obviously the way we got on last year we wanted to continue this year.
“That has been difficult because of his and Richie Myler’s injury.
“It has not worked out like we wanted, but we still have a couple more games to make an impact this year.”
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