Australian pack powerhouse Shannon Wakeman is determined that Huddersfield Giants will make an impact in the Super 8s.
Head coach Rick Stone’s squad booked their place in Super League for next season with a 26-4 victory over Leigh Centurions.
Having booked their Super 8s place the Giants are now well aware that there is still an opportunity to push for a top four finish.
Currently fourth in the table are Wakefield Trinity, who are five points ahead of the Giants.
However, if the Giants can pick up a win at Hull FC on Friday night in the final round of the regular Super League season, then a winning run in the final seven games of the campaign could make all the difference to what started out as a testing year.
“It is going to be tough but we will give it our best shot every week,” said the 27-year-old prop, who signed from Illawarra Cutters in the close season.
“The plan is to make an impact in the Super 8s, we will just have to see what happens and take it round by round.
“It means we are going to have to pretty much win every game, but we believe we can push for a top four spot.
“It is still possible for us to make the top four, so we are going to push for it while we can.”
However, the second half of the Super League campaign has seen coach Stone’s side gel and improve markedly and the results have followed.
The win over Leigh perhaps showed just where the Giants have reached as they won convincingly, despite having to be patient and ensure the win in the second half having led only 8-0 at half-time.
“We needed patience because it was a game with lots of penalties and plenty of mistakes from both teams – patience was key for us,” said Wakeman.
“But it was a fairly comfortable win against Leigh in the end.
“They made us work hard and we really had to just stick at what we were doing well.
“With there being a lot of penalties in the game that disrupted things, but we showed some character to keep defending when we had to and then turn things up in attack.”
Former Giants favourite and ex-Super League Man of Steel Brett Hodgson will leave his role of assistant coach at Widnes at the end of the season to rejoin his old NRL club Wests Tigers.
Hodgson, 39, who made 102 appearances for the Tigers from 2004-08 and was in their 2005 Premiership-winning team.