WE may only be a couple of weeks into the Super League season.
But it already seems pretty clear that the fight to secure a top-six play-off finish could be tougher than ever.
There have already been some almighty scraps between teams who have designs on finishing in the top half of the table, and my guess at this very early stage of the season is that points difference could well be the deciding factor on who finishes where on the Super League XIII ladder.
That’s why our margin of victory against Castleford at the weekend was so important.
One of the most disappointing aspects of our defeats against Leeds and Bradford was the final scorelines, which meant our negative points difference left rather a lot to be desired. In fact, we were on minus 46.
But, after our outstanding performance against the Tigers, we’re now in credit by six, and that makes this head coach very happy indeed!
We went into this match feeling very confident, knowing how much the boys were desperate to put on a show after those opening two defeats.
However, I don’t think even the most optimistic of us expected a win by 64-12!
Some of our play was absolutely breathtaking, and it has to go down as one of the best attacking displays I’ve seen from my side.
The quality of some of our tries was incredible, with Paul Whatuira’s second-half try right up there with the very best.
The ball passed rapidly through six pairs of hands via four offloads, with Paul providing the icing on the cake with the perfect finish.
At the heart of that score was Kevin Brown, who was twice involved in the move, including the exquisite final pass to send Paul racing to the line.
Kevin proved almost unstoppable against the Tigers, combining his excellent attacking skills with some powerful charges into the heart of the Castleford defence. His try when he bumped off several players close to the line underlines how strong a young man he has now become, thanks to his tremendously hard work in the gym during the off-season.
But clearly Kevin wasn’t the only player to have caught my eye and the thousands of others who thoroughly enjoyed last weekend’s excellent entertainment.
Steve Snitch was another who I thought worked tremendously hard from start to finish. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I believed this was the best game he has ever had for the club.
His fellow second-row forward Eorl Crabtree also proved too hot to handle with several barnstorming runs, particularly in the closing stages.
To be honest, I hadn’t got a clue where Eorl was playing half the time! After all, I’m only his coach!
But if he continues to produce performances like the one against Castleford, I certainly won’t be complaining.
In fact, if all 17 continue to play in the same vein I’m sure I’ll remain a very happy head coach of Huddersfield Giants!