THERE’S a widely held belief that the best way of erasing the memory of a disappointing performance is to get back out onto the field as quickly as possible and try and put things right.
It’s a view shared by everyone at the Giants.
To say we, the players, were all gutted by the way things went against Leeds on Sunday is an understatement.
After the way things had gone in pre-season we were confident of putting on a real show against the Rhinos.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
When we look back at what happened that day, there were 101 factors that contributed to our downfall.
Obviously, the way Leeds played was something that should not be overlooked.
Take it from me, they were very, very good.
But there’s nothing we could do about that.
On that form, they’ll definitely be the team to beat in 2008 and will stand a great chance of holding on to their Super League crown.
But their cause was clearly helped by the way we failed to perform, and there’s clearly something we can do about that.
There were certainly times during the game when I felt we were trying too hard.
This was a massive occasion for the Giants.
We were playing in front of our biggest home Super League crowd, and we were desperate to put on a show.
As a result, there were times we were guilty of overplaying and trying to force the pass. Chances were created but all too often we blew them.
It meant Leeds were handed far more possession than we would have wished, and the outcome was inevitable.
But as well as playing in front of a big crowd, we wanted to do well because it as our first home game of the season and it was our first game since completing our most successful Super League season ever.
On top of that, we had players making their debuts, with several in key positions, and that was always going to mean it was going to take a bit of time for us to settle down.
Not surprisingly, it took us the entire first half to get into our stride. After that, we began to settle into it far more effectively.
To be honest, it was just like the way Leeds had played in their home win over Hull KR the week before.
So, obviously, the hope now is that we see a far smoother Huddersfield Giants display at Bradford Bulls tomorrow.
As I’ve already said, after you’ve suffered a disappointing defeat you just want to get back onto the competitive field ASAP.
For us that means this game tomorrow.
And, as far as I’m concerned, a game on Sky TV on a Saturday night is the perfect medicine.
We’re fully aware that this is hardly the easiest game in the world to try and open our 2008 account, especially when we’ll have our old mates, Chris Nero and Jimmy Evans, busting a gut to get the better of us.
But we feel ready for the challenge, and we just can’t wait for teatime tomorrow!
Bulls: Morrison, Burgess, Sykes, Newton, Hape, Deacon, Evans, Halley, Nero, Cook, Vagana, James, Tupou, Platt, Harris, Godwin, Jeffries, Finnigan, Lynch, Langley.
Giants: Thorman, Elford, Whatuira, Brown, Robinson, Crabtree, Gatis, Skandalis, Lolesi, Raleigh, Wild, Jones, Jackson, Mason, Snitch, Griffin, Hudson, Cudjoe, Lawrence, Jensen.
Referee: Ben Thaler.