The Huddersfield Giants have to hit the ground running for the start of the 2015 Super League season.
That’s the message head coach Paul Anderson has been relaying to his players as they prepare to return from their army camp in Catterick.
Under the new 12-team Super League format, with clubs battling to secure a top-eight finish and then compete in the ‘Super 8s’, the pressure is on to make a strong impact from the start.
And with clubs being rewarded with a far kinder Super 8s fixture list for finishing in the top four – for example, the team that finishes first at the end of the regular season will have home games against the clubs finishing second and third and away to those who finish seventh and eighth in their bid to reach the Grand Final – Anderson knows how important it is to chalk up the wins straight away.
“We need to finish in the top four, it’s as simple as that,” said Anderson.
“People talk about finishing in the top eight and being part of the Super 8s, but with the rewards so much higher for finishing in the top four, that’s what you’ve got to be aiming for.
“That means it’s vital you come out of the blocks quickly, because in a 12-team competition you can’t try and time your run to the back end of the season.
“If you do that, the chances of finishing at the top end will have gone before you know it.
“The competition slogan for next season is ‘every minute matters’, and you can see why.
“So the players know that as soon as they ‘recover’ from their time away with the army everything will be geared to making sure they hit the ground running at home to Hull on February 8.”