Danny Kirmond desperate to erase bitter Huddersfield Giants memory
Sep 24 2010 by Chris Roberts, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
DANNY KIRMOND is hoping the venue where he experienced the lowest point of his career will tonight provide him with his highest.
The 24-year-old back-row forward suffered a serious knee injury in last season’s narrow 12-10 Super League defeat to St Helens at Knowsley Road on August 21.
In an instant his dream of playing in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley the following week had been shattered.
It also forced him onto the sidelines for six months, ruling out a productive pre-season and making him an obvious candidate to join Wakefield on a season-long loan as part of the deal that brought Danny Brough to the Galpharm.
But since Kirmond has returned to the Giants for the play-off campaign, the former Featherstone Rovers winger hasn’t looked back.
He performed solidly in the win over Crusaders and then came up with an even more impressive tryscoring display in last week’s thrilling 34-22 triumph at Warrington Wolves.
It was more than enough to ensure he retains his place for tonight’s Qualifying Semi-final clash at Knowsley Road (8.00) and the chance to exorcise a major ghost – and he admits he can’t wait.
“Obviously, my memories of Knowsley Road aren’t the greatest,” he said.
“The injury I suffered there made it by far the lowest point of my career. To miss out on playing at Wembley was devastating and it was pretty hard to get over.
“But I’ve done that now and I’m looking forward to playing at the ground again, and getting us the win, of course. That will be the best way to fully erase the memory of that last visit.
“And I know we can do it. When I take to the field tonight I know the events of last August will probably be the last thing on my mind, because the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“We’re just 80 minutes away from reaching the Grand Final at Old Trafford and you don’t need any more motivation than that to want to win.
“A lot of people play all their career without getting anywhere near the chance to experience what it’s like to be involved in a major final, but we’re now within touching distance.
“I missed out last year, and don’t intend to miss out this time!”
But even though Kirmond is so excited about taking on Saints in such a massive game, he does have a lot of sympathy for his teammates who will be missing out.