Proud Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson has expressed his delight at seeing so many claret and gold fans in the South of France to watch his side give in-form Catalans Dragons a real super League XXI run for their money.
Struggling Huddersfield could count themselves desperately unlucky to be on the wrong end of the 16-14 scoreline after producing a battling performance full of guts and character.
But it was still another huge step in the right direction, performance-wise, for the second-bottom Giants ahead of Sunday’s Magic Weekend clash against St Helens in Newcastle.
And Anderson believes if his players can repeat the effort on display at the Stade Gilbert Brutus - and be on the right end of the sort of tough refereeing calls they endured towards the end of the game in Perpignan - then the club and its loyal band of fans will soon have a lot to cheer about.
WATCH the Giants' fans enjoying themselves in France below
“It’s another defeat, and that obviously hurts,” said Anderson, who ended up making the trip without Eorl Crabtree, who was expected to become a father at the weekend.
“But I couldn’t fault the effort of anyone out there on Saturday. I thought, for most part, we were really good and took another step in the right direction with our performance.
“We probably did lack a bit of cohesion on attack, although you have to think about the quality of the opposition we were facing in Catalans.
“They’re a world-class side and it’s always a massive challenge coming over here to face them.
“But we did match them really well, with the younger blokes showing how much their maturing as Super League players and working so well with the more senior players in the side.
“I’m very disappointed for them that we didn’t get the win, but I’m also disappointed for our fans that they didn’t see us come away with the two points.
“They get some stick for a lack of support at times, but they were in France in their hundreds and gave us incredible support. They were magnificent and I tip my hat off to them.
“I hope they appreciated our efforts on the day as much as we appreciated their efforts for coming all this way to back us.”