How is everyone feeling after the bitter disappointment of the Challenge Cup defeat?
Everyone was a bit down, there’s no doubt about it.
But we’ve still got the Super League competition to look forward to, and that’s what we fully intend to do.
The reality is that we’ve just got to knuckle down and get on with it.
We’ve had a good look at what went on at Castleford and there are clearly some good, key lessons for everyone to learn. That’s because failures can help you succeed in the longer term.
After all, people fail right through their lives.
How many times, for instance, have people lost their money, become bankrupt and got rich again?
Or how many sides go through a stage where they lose big games, learn the lessons from it, come back stronger and win again?
This happens because they learn the lessons of what went wrong and make sure they don’t make the same mistakes again.
That’s the challenge that faces us right now.
So why did it go wrong against Castleford, and what lessons need to be learned?
It was all about failing to build pressure, so the key is to make sure we become more aware about building pressure and what it can do for you.
When you look at the events at Cas the other day, you could clearly see how we paid the price for not being able to do this.
And the start of the second half probably summed up where we are at the moment.
We scored a try, Cas were there for us to try and take, and then we dropped the ball on the next set.
On top of that, we put up a ‘bomb’ and someone does a high tackle, and then we put up another ‘bomb’ and someone does a high tackle again.
So how can you expect to put pressure on the opposition when you’re doing things like that?
We certainly can’t fault people’s effort on the day, and at different stages we hung in there really, really well.
But the simple reality is that we just didn’t give ourselves enough chances to win the game.
Was Danny Brough beating himself up after missing those three touchline conversions which would have taken you through?
Broughy didn’t have his greatest day with the boot, but there was far more to our defeat than that.
For a start, we could have given our halves a much better chance to stamp their authority and create better field position.
To be honest, we can look at all sorts of things that contributed to why we lost the game.
At the end of the day, we just didn’t give ourselves a bigger shot at trying to get into the semi-final.
Is it fair to say this defeat has hit you as hard as any during your time at the Giants?
Yes it is, because as every year goes by, it’s another chance to get to Wembley gone for everyone.
For me, personally, I’m not going to be here forever.
I’ve obviously been to Wembley with the Giants once before (against Warrington in 2009), it’s a great experience and makes you want to go back again. But that was not to be.
We lost the game and have missed the chance to try and get there again.
On top of that, you’ve also lost two more players to injury, with Keith Mason (knee) and Joe Wardle (hamstring) both ruled out for up to six weeks. How much of a blow is this?
It’s extremely disappointing, particularly when you think who else we have out injured at the moment.
But, at the end of the day, there’s not a lot you can do about it.
There’s no point dwelling on it, because none of these players can help us beat Hull KR on Saturday, although they can still contribute off the field and in the build-up to the game.
And there’s also no point banging on about the injury situation, because you know you won’t get any sympathy off anyone, especially as we’re not the only club who’ve had big injury lists this year.
St Helens have been through it and are now looking good, while Leeds have had an up-and-down run and look to be coming out of it.
In these situations, it’s just a case of getting the best out of the individuals who are available and getting the best out of the group.
Both St Helens and Leeds have shown that the key at times like this is to keep strong as a group, keep working for each other and try and get the wins along the way if you can.
If you can do this, then you can turn things around.
Do you sense the boys can’t wait to get out there on Saturday against Hull KR and try and get the Cup defeat out of their system?
Yes we do, and that’s obviously the response we were all hoping to see.
We’re clearly in a bit of a hole at the moment, but we shouldn’t forget we’ve done the right things in the past, we know what’s required and we’re pretty confident we’ll come up with the right solutions.
This week we’ve spoken as a group about a few different things, and we’re sure that each individual knows what’s required to turn things around.
It’s now a case of translating that onto the field, and if we do that we’ll give ourselves a shot.
On top of this, it’s also our first game back at the Galpharm Stadium in two months, and we’re really looking forward to that.
We’re obviously determined to get back ‘home’ and put on a winning show, I think that goes without saying.
For so many reasons, Saturday is a massive day.