HUDDERSFIELD Giants coach Paul Anderson is confident his side is setting up for a big Super League XVIII finish.
Huddersfield returned to winning ways with a comfortable 40-18 home win over injury-hit champions Leeds to make it a hat trick of triumphs over the Rhinos in 2013 and remain on a course for a top-two finish.
It was the ideal way to respond to their surprise 35-28 defeat at Hull KR in their last top-flight fixture 16 days earlier.
But Anderson knows his side is capable of playing far better than they did against the Rhinos, and he expects that to be the case in the final eight games of the regular season, starting at home to Catalan Dragons on Friday.
“A sign of a quality team is one which is able to react positively to a defeat, and that’s what we’ve done throughout the season,” said Anderson, whose side has now won 14 and lost five of their 19 League fixtures and faces a trip to Warrington Wolves in the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup on Sunday, July 14.
“The aim now is obviously to build on what we did against Leeds, and I’m confident that’ll be the case.
“We came up against a Leeds team with a lot of people missing, but they’ve been playing (the Rhinos had a game last Monday at home to Widnes), whereas we’ve had some time off and everybody is a bit rusty.
“So there are some cohesion things we need to fix up and that’s why I’m looking forward to playing Catalan on Friday, because I know we can be better.
“We’ll then look to keep on building and building so we can give ourselves the best possible chance. We’re all feeling positive at the moment.”
Hooker Shaun Lunt, who was a member of Leeds’ Grand Final-winning team last October, continued his remarkable scoring run, touching down twice to take his try tally for the season to 18, while captain Danny Brough marked his 100th Giants appearance with another inspirational showing.
The in-form stand-off kicked superbly out of hand and landed six of his seven conversion attempts, although Anderson was delighted with Brough’s running game.
“We had some talks in the break we had and that was one of the things we encouraged him to do,” added Anderson. “He must have had his best running game of the year so far.”