Huddersfield Giants chief Paul Anderson Q&A: Ukuma Ta'ai already making a mark

Ukuma Ta’ai has finally arrived. How’s he looking?

Ukuma Ta’ai has finally arrived at the Huddersfield Giants. How’s he looking?

He’s looking big!

You can tell he’s been training on his own and had periods of inactivity, which means there’s one or two little things we need to work on.

But he’s a physical specimen and, with just a bit of fine-tuning, he’ll certainly be okay.

He got straight into training the morning after he arrived. He was picked up by Eorl Crabtree from his house and driven to training, because he was a bit fearful of the roads and the snow.

And then it was a case of meeting his new teammates and having to take in a million-and-one things.

So, as you can imagine, his head’s a bit of a shed at the moment, but I’m sure he’ll soon feel at home.

So does that mean we won’t see him make his debut against London Broncos at home on Sunday?

It’s not been decided yet, to be honest.

We’ll have a good talk as a coaching staff and with (captains) Danny Brough, Luke Robinson and Brett Ferres and take it from there.

At this stage nothing is ruled out.

But after that magnificent performance and win at St Helens, how tempted are you to field an unchanged side?

That’s clearly an option, particularly as we came through the game relatively unscathed. If changes are to be made, they will only be made if we feel they’ll be for the better.

Both Broughy and David Faiumu trained fully yesterday after they’d been taken off as a precaution at Saints with tight hamstrings.

We’ve also been taking precautionary measures with Stu Fielden and Luke O’Donnell because they’re old!

It’s a case of managing them sensibly on a week-by-week basis when it comes to training and playing, and that’s what we’re doing again this weekend.

There’s obviously been a lot of speculation this week about Sydney Roosters wanting Luke O’Donnell. Has that affected the way he’s been training this week?

Not in the least.

Luke has been fine, as you’d expect with such a professional bloke.

He’s just been his usual self all the week.

As per normal, he’s simply getting on with it and he’s certainly in the frame to face the Broncos on Sunday.

And after the win at Saints has it been a case this week of having to keep the players’ feet on the ground?

No, not really.

We held a video session yesterday and much of the focus was on things we know we could have done better. There were areas where we know that can be achieved.

But, at the same time, it wasn’t a totally negative session, because there were so many things we did well.

What was really pleasing was we were able to do a lot of things off the back of what we were creating, and that’s what I want to see us doing on a consistent basis.

That’s one of the challenges for our game against the Broncos.

How much is everyone looking forward to playing at home for the first time in Super League XVIII this season?

We’re excited.

We all enjoy playing at ‘home’, and we obviously enjoy the backing of the fans.

Our supporters play a big part in what we’re striving to achieve, and there’s nothing better than hearing them sharing in what we’re doing.

We know that if they’re happy we must be doing something right.

Clearly, we want that to be the case this weekend.

We want them to enjoy Sunday as much as they enjoyed that great night in St Helens.

 
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