I KNOW the Odsal Stadium in Bradford isn’t the most popular of venues in Super League.
But I’ve always found it a relatively pleasant place to play, mainly because the Bradford Bulls ground is one where I’ve got quite a few very pleasant memories.
I’ve been involved in a couple of really good wins over there in recent times, including last season’s fixture when we won 52-6 and I then found out the following day I’d been picked to play for England in the mid-season Test against France.
The season before was also a good Odsal occasion as we ground out a 16-12 triumph, which proved to be the first Giants’ success over the Bulls at the ground in the Super League era.
Obviously, they were two contrasting clashes, and it goes without saying we’d prefer a repeat of the 2010 success rather than the one the year before when we go to Bradford again on Sunday.
But the main priority isn’t the final scoreline, it’s simply getting the win.
We were all bitterly disappointed with the way things went at Warrington a week ago and we know how important it is to start re-discovering our best form and returning to winning ways.
We do deserve credit for the way we fought back after going down 22-0 early on against an excellent Wolves side and then fighting our way back to 22-16 with just 10 minutes remaining. At that stage, we did believe we could win the game.
That shows that an abundance of character isn’t something that’s lacking in the Giants’ class of 2011. I’m sure many sides would have fallen apart in the face of such an early onslaught.
But we also know we’ve only got ourselves to blame for the way things went.
Making so many errors and conceding so many penalties – probably justified – was the root cause of our problem, and we share a collective responsibility for that.
As a group, we just didn’t perform to our potential and we paid the ultimate price.
But at this stage it isn’t the end of the world. We know we won’t drop that much ball every week – I can’t remember the last time we did it as much as against Warrington – and we’re confident there won’t be a repeat at Bradford on Sunday.
I THINK it’s safe to say Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe and myself have copped a fair bit of stick over the past week.
As some of you may have already seen, a cartoon has been produced to promote our ‘Return of the Giants’ to the Galpharm on July 31.
It shows caricatures of Eorl, Leroy and me in a car ready to make tracks back to Huddersfield after our three Super League ‘home’ games in Halifax. Everything is being geared up to our first fixture back at the Galpharm against Hull KR.
And given the amount of comments our esteemed teammates have been giving us regarding our ‘looks’ on the cartoon, the big day can’t come soon enough!
Even though I’m the captain – and surely deserving of a certain amount of respect – it hasn’t stopped everyone having a good laugh at my expense, although I do know it’s all in good spirit.
That’s also the case for Eorl, who somehow has been given a straight nose when he does in fact boast one of the most bust in Super League (he must have paid the cartoonist rather a lot of money to make him look such a pretty boy), while we’ve never seen Leroy looking more like Bruno (Michael Lawrence).
We know these two boys are close, but they’ve now become the same person!
As I said, our ‘so called’ teammates have been giving it to us big time since the image has been produced.
But if it proves an effective way of getting more fans to the game on the 31st, then it’s definitely a price worth paying.