Leigh Leopards vs Huddersfield Giants Predictions: Leigh to get off to a flyer

 | February 15 | 

2 mins read

George Riley Rugby League

Betfred Challenge Cup winners Leigh Leopards were the surprise package of 2023 and kick off the new campaign against a Huddersfield Giants side in desperate need of improvement under head coach Ian Watson (kick-off 20:00 GMT)

The Leopards start the season with another cloud hanging over controversial star Zak Hardaker, with the club promising to support the player after this week’s drink-driving charge.

Leigh Leopards v Huddersfield Giants Tips

  • Leigh Leopards to win by 13+ points @ 17/10
  • Josh Charnley anytime tryscorer @ 4/6

Team news

Hardaker has been named in the Leigh squad despite his court appearance on Wednesday, with Adrian Lam’s side bolstered in the halves by new signing Matt Moylan in a squad that looks every bit as strong as last year.

Huddersfield have winger Adam Swift ready to fire following his move from Hull FC. Swift scored four tries in two pre-season games against Super League opposition and will look to start the season with a bang.

New Giants playmaker Adam Clune makes his debut following his arrival from Newcastle Knights and a lot rests on his shoulders to fill the void left by Will Pryce’s move to the NRL.

Leigh Leopards to win by 13+ points @ 17/10 

These two sides were particularly tough to predict last year, with Leigh exceeding expectations and Huddersfield falling way short of their own lofty goals under Ian Watson, who, like Rohan Smith at Leeds Rhinos, will be under pressure to start well.

While Leigh may run the risk of “second-season syndrome” now that they will no longer be a surprise package, the Leopards’ squad looks far too good to struggle and should make the top-six play-off places, starting with a win here.

As for Huddersfield, Watson’s position as coach will be under scrutiny if they don’t hit the ground running, and a lot will rely on new half-back Clune if the Giants are to start well. Their squad, though, looks light after the retirements of Chris McQueen, Nathan Peats and Josh Jones, added to the departures of Pryce, Theo Fages and stalwart Jermaine McGilvary,

Leigh beat Huddersfield twice last year, scoring over 30 points on each occasion, and are big favourites to win again here.

Leigh to beat Huddersfield by 13+ points @ 17/10

Josh Charnley anytime tryscorer @ 4/6

Winger Charnley has been revitalised at Leigh since leaving Warrington and another fruitful season is expected of the Leopards winger who ran in 26 tries last year to finish one behind top scorers Tom Johnstone and Abbas Miski.

The creativity of Lam and Moylan should make this Leopards side a dream to play in for outside backs, with Charnley bidding to challenge at the top of the try scoring charts again.

Josh Charnley tryscorer v Huddersfield @ 4/6

You can read all our latest Rugby League News and Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights rugby league content hub.

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