Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson is ready to use his club’s Super League Dream Team snub as an extra source of play-off motivation.
Despite finishing the regular season in third place and just a point behind minor champions St Helens, Huddersfield were the only club in the top eight not represented in the imaginary best Super League side of 2014 as voted on by a panel of journalists and broadcasters.
It’s in stark contrast to last season when five Giants were included, after Huddersfield finished top of the table for the first time in 81 years. They were Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe, Brett Ferres and Shaun Lunt.
And while Anderson admits he’s ‘disappointed’ all of his players have been overlooked, he knows it could be something he can use to his advantage ahead of Thursday’s opening play-off clash at second-placed Wigan.
“I know how much players like to gain the recognition they feel they deserve, so it’s disappointing we’ve missed out so significantly,” said Anderson.
“Straight off the top of my head, I would have thought Joe Wardle, Jermaine McGillvary, Brett Ferres and Eorl Crabtree should have been in with a shout.
“Joe’s just had the season of his life, Jerry’s just getting stronger and stronger, Brett is quality every week and Eorl has once again led by example up front.
“So while it’s disappointing we’ve not been recognised in the Dream Team, it’s certainly something we intend to use to our advantage over the next few weeks. I know the players will be keen to prove a point or two.”
The Super League Dream Team is:
Full-back: Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos).
Right wing: Tommy Makinson (St Helens).
Right centre: Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos).
Left centre: Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers).
Left wing: Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos).
Stand-off: Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings).
Scrum-half: Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors).
Prop: Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos).
Hooker: Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers).
Prop: Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves).
Second Row: Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons).
Second Row: Carl Ablett (Leeds Rhinos).
Loose forward: Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors).