winger Darnell McIntosh is expecting Huddersfield Giants to make a big impact in the Super 8s series.
The 20-year-old Giants Academy product was a try scorer in the final round of the regular Super League season as head coach Rick Stone’s side went down 14-10 at Hull FC, but McIntosh doesn’t think the KCOM Stadium outcome will have a huge bearing on how the team perform in the second phase of the competition .
“We’ve been in some good form and put in good performances to get the wins,” said the hometown product.
“The Hull defeat won’t dishearten us too much and if anything it will make us want to kick on more.
“We want to show every other team we’re here to compete and we have enough experience to show that the task doesn’t change.
“We have enough experience to know what to do away from home.
“We can’t get too complacent and for me personally I’m going to look to make Rick consider me for next season.
“We are playing for everything each week.”
The Giants find out their fixture fate tomorrow but already know they will be facing West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity at the John Smith’s Stadium and will be on the road to St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull FC in the next seven weeks.
While the Giants were beaten on Humberside in a battle of attrition where defences were on top, McIntosh felt the performance showed that the Giants have the physicality and mental toughness to take on the top teams in the Super 8s.
“It was probably one of the most demanding games I’ve played in,” McIntosh explained.
“I made my debut against Hull at the end of last season, but it was certainly more physical than any game I’ve played so far.
“They were hitting hard and it was a good contest. I thought defensively we were really good and our effort was outstanding.
“We made a few mistakes and when we made opportunities for ourselves there were little margins where we weren’t sharp enough.
“The last 20 minutes we knew whoever would score next would probably get the win and they got the penalty – which was scored.
“I feel like we shouldn’t be too disheartened. Going into the Hull game we probably were the in-form team and they’ve come off a run of a few losses.
“We backed ourselves – and to not win it was frustrating.
“I feel like it was a well-worked try when I scored, but I’m happier with my defensive contribution.
“It was such a tight contest that we were just out of gas at the end.
“There weren’t many breaks for either teams and they probably had a few more line breaks.”
There is now a break for the Challenge Cup semi-finals and McIntosh believes this rest time has come at the perfect time.
“If we were going to play another this week then I feel like it would have taken its toll, but we do have a week off so we’re all going to spend it with our families to have a think about everything and come back and really rip in.
“We’re looking to make a real statement.”
Huddersfield Giants outside back Jared Simpson has joined Championship side Oldham on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 21-year-old is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to be challenging for a place from Round Two of the reformed Championship league.
In addition members of the academy squad will also be made available to Oldham once the academy season has finished.
Keiron Cunningham has been linked with a return to Rugby League with Widnes Vikings.
Cunningham has put his name forward to replace outgoing Vikings assistant Brett Hodgson, the former Huddersfield Giants full-back, once he leaves the club to take up a role with Wests Tigers.
The 40-year-old is out of a job after being removed from his role as head coach at St Helens.