Are the St George-Illawarra Dragons headed for a similar fate to 2015?
Jack Clifton looks at the re...
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Luke Robinson has been declared fit and is in the squad for Friday night's match up with reigning champions Wigan.
The 26 year old injured his elbow whilst away on International duty with England at the Four Nations. The blow came at the same time as the hooker was due to have surgery over a persistent problem with his shoulder. After a frustrating spell on the sidelines, Robinson has been given the green light to return and cannot wait to take on the Warriors under the floodlights at the Galpharm Stadium on Friday night.
"They don't come any bigger than this one", admitted Robinson. "Every Super League game is a big one now, there's no doubt Wigan deserved to win the league last year because they were the most consistent team, the table doesn't lie and they were the best team in the competition last year over 27 rounds.
"It is going to be a big challenge for us to see where we are at and to see how we are progressing as a club. These are the games that you want to play in, these are the exciting games and the ones that you don't want to miss so I'm looking forward to it and I think the rest of the lads are as well."
Last time out, a vocal crowd of 9,466 turned out in force to witness the Giants convincingly defeat local rivals Bradford Bulls. Robbo' insists the supporters can make all the difference between victory and defeat.
"The crowd can make a massive difference. In the short period that I have been here in the last three years the crowds have increased significantly and have become more vocal which only helps the team.
"I know it shouldn't make a difference but I think playing at home does help the boys, it spurs you on during the vital times of the game when you need a little bit of momentum."
The speed of Robinson's recovery has surprised many who thought he would still be sitting out for a few more weeks to come yet. But when talking to giantsrl.com about his injury, he was keen to heap praise upon the club's medical staff who have ensured he is ready to go on Friday night.
"It's been a bit of a long process, it feels like an eternity since I last played with England!" lamented Robinson. "It has been a little bit of a long slog being stuck in the gym with Greg Brown (Rehab Conditioner) and 'Millsy' (Nathan Mill - Physio) but thankfully they've both done a great job and they have probably got me back a little bit earlier than expected.
"I've been quite lucky really given the sport that we play in. Its part and parcel that you're going to get injured and you're going to miss games, but I think throughout my career I've been pretty lucky and I've not had too many bad injuries, so this has definitely been one of the worst injuries I've ever had."
In his absence, Robinson's team-mates have helped to propel the Giants to the top of the Super League ladder after five rounds. A string of solid performances have ultimately reaped their rewards with four victories already notched up for Nathan Brown's men with just the one defeat. Robinson has been impressed with the quality the Giants have been showing in the early stages of the season and he hopes that his involvement will help to carry on the good work, starting with the match with Wigan.
"I think it's been great! I know we slipped up when we didn't play too great against Castleford but as a whole we have been great. Broughy (Danny Brough) and Kev (Kevin Brown) at half-backs have been creating chances and our forwards have been pretty dominant and defending. There are aspects of our game that can improve but at this moment in time you'd definitely accept where we are and the way we've been playing.
"With me being out it probably shows the strength in depth that we've got and how hard it is to get back into the team, but thankfully they've got a little bit of faith in me."
Tickets are on sale now for Friday nights mouth watering game against the Champions. Supporters pre-purchasing prior to matchday can save 3 pounds per ticket and with under 12's going free a family of four can pre-buy and watch the Giants from as little as 36 pounds.
The Galpharm Stadium Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, the Ticket Hotline is 01484 484123 and supporters can also buy tickets online.
DON'T MISS IT - FRIDAY NIGHT UNDER THE LIGHTS
GIANTS V WIGAN WARRIORS - LIVE AT THE GALPHARM STADIUM, 8.00PM
Ticket Hotline 01484 484123