You must have been delighted with the way the two games went over Easter?
You can’t really ask for anything more than to win both your games.
Against Celtic Crusaders on Good Friday, it certainly wasn’t one of our better performances, although I really do believe the opposition deserve a great deal of credit for the way they played.
In the first half they held us up over the line three times and Kev Brown lost the ball over the tryline because of the number of people they had around him.
So, in that sense, they contributed to us for not being that great.
I also thought we looked pretty comfortable throughout the game and played like a team that was always confident of winning.
It’s also possible some of us were thinking ahead to the game against Hull KR on the Monday.
We certainly rested a couple of players against the Crusaders so they were fresh for the trip to Hull, and I was pleased with the results.
Everyone kept telling me how tough it is to win at Hull KR, so to win there was very pleasing indeed.
And it took a good effort to get there.
We had a bit of a slow start and then lost Liam Fulton, who was playing at stand-off, early on. We were already down on a few blokes in key positions, with Kev Brown and Scotty Moore being rested, but the way the guys adjusted to the new roles was very good.
It took another team effort to win at Rovers. But which players stood out for you?
That’s a difficult one, because everyone contributed.
But I was pleased with Jamahl Lolesi, who had his best game since I’ve been here, and David Faiumu, who also produced his best performance since I arrived.
Leroy Cudjoe is another who deserves a special mention. He had to change to a new role after Liam’s injury and filled in very well, as did Brett Hodgson, who’s been great for us all year.
And I was also very pleased with Luke Robinson. He had to assume a lot more responsibility when we lost Liam, because we were also without Kev and Scotty, but he immediately took control, which was good.
This was obviously your first taste of an English Easter programme. How challenging have you found it?
It’s definitely a big challenge for the players, both physically and mentally. There’s no doubt it’s very tough.
Because of this it opens up players to possible injury due to the fatigue factor.
It’s no great surprise, therefore, that players pick up injuries at this time of the year. We’ve got a lot of bumps and bruises after Monday, and Hull KR lost a couple of blokes, too.
I know it’s a traditional thing to play the two games at his time of the year, but it is tough.
While you were delighted to win at Hull KR, Robins coach Justin Morgan was far from impressed with events, particularly the way the game was handled by match referee Ben Thaler. What are your feelings about Morgan’s comments that Thaler was very poor?
It seems that every time we play someone complains about the referee!
But I believe Ben Thaler’s a good referee because he referees the game the same and referees both teams the same.
If blokes want to run and fall on the ground you should be allowed to stay on them, that’s the way the game is. The opposition have to generate ways to do better.
But it really does seem the case that every time we win it’s the referee’s fault, which is fine by me.
Going back to Ben. Like everyone else, he does make mistakes, but he just gets on with it and isn’t influenced by the crowd, which some referees can be. Personally, we’d take him any day of the week.
Although you rotated the squad over the Easter weekend, there was still no place for (new prop) Michael Korkidas. That must be pretty tough for him?
Yes. He went very well for the Reserves last week, and there’s no doubt he’s doing his best.
But right now the rotation in the front row is working really well with the club’s four well-established props.
Keith Mason has been playing great and returned very successfully against Hull KR after being rested against the Crusaders, while Paul Jackson has come back strongly after sitting out the Wigan game.
Darrell Griffin has responded very positively after being left out for a couple of games earlier in the season, while Eorl Crabtree is starting to get back to his best after recovering from his hamstring injury in the opening-day win at Catalans.
On top of that, Larne Patrick is also developing well and gave a good account of himself in Monday’s win at Hull KR.
So, right now, we’ve got a lot of very good props available, and you can’t ask for anything more than that.
So now it’s champions Leeds Rhinos at the Galpharm on Saturday. I bet you can’t wait?
It’s definitely going to be a good challenge, and probably the biggest club game in Super League the Giants have ever had.
That’s because of the position we’ve put ourselves in, with us being second in the League and Leeds third.
Leeds and St Helens have obviously set the pace in Super League over recent years and this is going to be a great test.
Other sides in the competition have players who are just as good, but the difference is they don’t play consistently well as those at Leeds and Saints.
But there’s no doubt Leeds have got great playing strength across the park and for the past four or five years have been right up there winning Grand Finals.
There’s no question that Saturday will give us a good indication of how we’re going.
To come to Hull KR and win showed we’re definitely doing something okay, and I hope that’s reinforced this weekend!