Rick Stone is hoping a change of routine will bring a change of luck for his bruised and battered Huddersfield Giants.
Huddersfield now have two weeks to reflect on Thursday’s narrow 26-21 home defeat to leaders Castleford Tigers before they face Catalans Dragons at Super League’s Magic Weekend in Newcastle on Sunday, May 21.
The Giants have a week off after their shock home Challenge Cup defeat to Swinton Lions a fortnight ago.
As a result, Stone has given his players a couple of days off to rest their bodies, with the hope it will freshen them up and finally bring about a change in fortunes.
“We’d obviously still like to be involved in the Challenge Cup, but hopefully next weekend’s break will be of benefit to us,” said Stone, who against Castleford was lacking senior players Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell, Michael Lawrence, Tom Symonds and Ukuma Ta’ai through injury and Jermaine McGillvary on England duty against Samoa in Sydney today (10.45am).
“We’ve got a lot of players playing busted at the moment, so in that sense a week off has come at just the right time.
“But, having said that, I couldn’t fault the boys for the way they played the other night.
“I was really happy with the effort and how we had a crack against a very good side in Castleford. Personally, I felt we did enough to earn two competition points, which are valuable to us at the moment.
“We just need a bit of luck.
“Generally in footy you get what you deserve, but I don’t think we got what we deserved in this game.
“We had a couple of big calls go against us that were the difference in the game.
“The effort and the way we controlled the game was pretty good for most of the time, it’s just the calls don’t seem to be going our way right now.
“Hopefully, that’s something else that’ll change after our mini-break.”
Huddersfield’s defeat against the Tigers came in spite of a first-half hat-trick from Australian full-back Jake Mamo who has scored six tries in his four Super League appearances and already just one behind Giants 2017 leading tryscorer McGillvary with seven, making up for lost time after sitting out the first two months of the season with a broken ankle.
“I always knew Jake was going to be okay for us,” added Stone, whose side were desperately unlucky not to build on their 31-12 triumph at second-placed Leeds Rhinos the week before.
“He came a bit injured, and I was disappointed it’s taken while to get on the park and contribute but I always had faith.
“He’s a good little competitor and bobs up at the right places and could have scored four or five if play went the right way for him.
“If he was in the Premier League, he’d be called a goal sneak. He knows where to be, his anticipation is terrific.”