PROUD Giants head coach Tony Smith today paid tribute to the efforts of his players throughout the Tetley's Super League season.
Smith took charge of Huddersfield for the final time as the Giants were beaten 22-12 by play-off bound London Broncos at Brentford yesterday.
It brought the curtain down on a highly successful three-year spell in charge at the McAlpine, with Smith moving on to coach Leeds Rhinos in Super League IX next season.
It was also the final game for highly-respected former Great Britain international Steve McNamara, who has retired as a player to take up a coaching role at Bradford Bulls.
Jamie Bloem and Jarrod O'Doherty also said their Giants goodbyes.
But Smith was delighted that his squad did not allow the emotion of the occasion to get the better of them and insisted victory in the capital could easily have been clinched.
"We had some thanks and some goodbyes and that sort of stuff in the dressing room after the final hooter," said Smith, whose side finished 10th.
"But the emotion was kept under wraps during the game and I thought the boys had a real good dig.
"It would have been fantastic to have signed off a good season with a win, but it wasn't to be.
"We paid the price for a disappointing first-half performance, but so nearly turned it around after the break.
"I suppose you could say we had little to play for but pride, having missed out on the play-offs the week before.
"But pride is a big motivator and I was delighted with the spirit on show.
"Spirit and effort has played a big part in our season, and that's the way I would like this side to be remembered.
"We've always tried to put our best foot forward, and I've been proud of what the players have achieved.
"Once again, I would like to say how proud I am of my association with Huddersfield. It has been good for all us I think, the players and myself."
The Giants' Junior Academy Under 18 team will now take centre stage with their First Division Grand Final against Warrington Wolves taking place at Wilderspool on Thursday (7.45).