UKUMA TA’AI is feeling the pain of the Giants’ disastrous start to the Super League XXI campaign.

Like everyone else in Huddersfield’s battered and bruised squad, the in-form Tonga back-row forward isn’t happy about heading to Hull tonight (8.00) looking to avoid a ninth defeat from 10 2016 top-flight starts.

In fact, seeing the Giants at the foot of the table doesn’t sit comfortably with him at all.

But that won’t stop the 29-year-old continuing to play and train with a smile on his face – because he knows the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

“It’s really tough at the moment,” said Ta’ai.

“But we can’t afford to let this get the better of us.

“As far as I’m concerned, there’s no point sulking, because that will only make things worse.

“You’ll just end up getting stuck in an even bigger rut, and that’s one that’ll be harder to get out of.

“Clearly, the confidence of some of the boys is pretty low at the moment, because they’ve never been in a position like this before, and I think that’s affecting the way they’re playing.

“But I don’t really think worrying about this current situation is going to solve the problem.

“The way I look at it is that things will turn around for us at some stage.

“We’ve definitely got the players who are good enough to make sure this run can come to an end.

“It’s just a case of working hard and continuing to think positively.”

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That philosophy certainly appears to be paying off for Ta’ai, who last season agreed a one-year contract extension to remain at the John Smith’s Stadium until the end of this season.

He’s arguably been the Giants’ best and most consistent player in 2016, and is proud of the fact that he’s played the full 80 minutes of every Huddersfield game so far this season.

“That’s something I’m pretty proud to be able to say,” added the former New Zealand Warriors star. “Even though in an ideal world I probably wouldn’t have to be doing that.

“It’s been a case of me being forced to stay on the field because of the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in.

“The injuries have obviously meant we’ve had to blood some of the younger players a lot so far this season, but you can’t have too many of the less experienced players on the field at the same time.

“So there have been a number of times this season when I’ve had to stay on the field when I could really have done with a bit of a rest.

“But, having said that, there’s no way I’m complaining about that.

“My number one priority has always been to do what’s best for the team, and if the coaches want make to stay out there that’s exactly what I’ll do.

“Even though we’ve struggled as a team, I have been happy with my own form.

“Because of the start we’ve made I’ve really made a big effort to step up my own game, particularly to set the right example to the younger players when they come into the squad.

“I do try and help them as much as I can, especially the ones who play in a similar position to me.

“And one of the main things I stress to them is that message of trying to stay positive. That’s the way to help us get back winning again.”