LEROY CUDJOE has admitted his side’s last-gasp defeat against Warrington took all the gloss off his stunning first-half hat trick.
It was the first time in his rugby league career that the 20-year-old full-back had scored three tries in a game.
And although it was a moment to cherish, the former Newsome Panthers junior admitted he found it impossible to celebrate.
“Even as a junior or when I was playing in the Academy and Reserves I never managed to score a hat trick,” said Cudjoe.
“So, for me to score my first hat trick in a Super League game, in front of our own fans and on live TV, was fantastic.
“It was definitely the best feeling in the world at half time when we were winning 18-6.
“But, obviously, by the end of the game, the hat trick had more or less been forgotten.
“Like the rest of the boys, I was absolutely gutted at the end that we hadn’t won.
“We thought at half-time we had put ourselves in a great position to win the game.
“But we just couldn’t keep it up in the second half and paid a very heavy price.
“We just couldn’t control the ball like we had done earlier in the game, and you can’t afford to hand over possession to a side like Warrington or else you’re asking for trouble.”
Yet even though Cudjoe was bitterly disappointed that the game had slipped away, he believes there were some positives which will stand the Giants in good stead.
“After the defeat at Leeds we were determined not to play like that again,” he added.
“We felt we owed it to ourselves and to the fans to put on a better show in this game.
“And, hopefully, the fans will have seen enough in that first-half performance to show we managed that.
“The aim now will be for us to build on what we did in the first 40 minutes in our remaining games of the season. If we do that, we’ll pick up more wins.”