RETURNING hero Shaun Lunt was determined to produce a massive game to help the Giants get off to a winning start – and not prove a point to former boss Nathan Brown.
The 25-year-old hooker marked his competitive Huddersfield comeback by ripping Saints to shreds as the Giants made their Super League XVIII intentions clear with a stunning 40-4 away win.
It was Lunt’s first Huddersfield appearance since helping Leeds Rhinos secure Super League Grand Final glory at Old Trafford last October during his highly-successful Headingley loan spell.
The inspirational No9 made the move after being frozen out by Brown last April to make way for the arrival of Scott Moore.
But even though it was a decision that hurt Lunt at the time, he has no hard feelings towards Brown.
And he has dismissed any thoughts that getting the better of ex-coach Brown in his first game in charge of new club Saints was his main motivating factor.
“I know there’s been all this talk about me wanting to play well against Saints to prove a point to Browny,” said Lunt, who was recalled by new Giants boss Paul Anderson to see out the remainder of the three years on his current Huddersfield contract.
“But none of that’s come from me. Yes, the beginning of last season was tough, because I didn’t understand why I wasn’t playing.
“Browny had his reasons and I accept that, and I’d certainly never say anything derogatory about him, because he’s done loads for me in my career.
“He gave me my Super League start and he’s taught me so much and helped me develop my game.
“He’s done so much to help me become the player I am today, so in that respect I suppose his hard work with me over the years helped me play a part in beating his new club this weekend!”
But Lunt is the first to accept the victory over Saints wasn’t solely down to him, even though he did play a pivotal role.
“I was happy with a lot of my game and I did gain a few plaudits,” he added.
“But No9s often get a lot of the credit when the pack’s going forward. It makes our job easier.
“And our pack against Saints was awesome.
“We’ve been talking throughout pre-season about our forwards being able to do this and that, and they went out and showed that straight away.
“As a result, we’ll take a lot of confidence with what we did, although we also know there’s a great deal we need to improve.
“In previous years, we’ve started well in our opening games (to beat Wigan last year and Warrington the season before), but on those occasions we probably produced our best performances then.
“This time around we know we didn’t play to our best, so we know we’re going to have to work harder to make sure we soon start doing that.
“Personally, I find that really exciting.”