YOU looked far from happy with life straight after the Batley Challenge Cup game. Are you feeling any better now?
Yes, I was pretty disappointed with a lot of what I saw at the weekend.
The simple fact was that our effort and attitude just wasn’t acceptable.
And what made it even worse was that it’s the second time in just over three weeks that this has been the case.
Once is bad enough, but twice is just not on – and the players know it!
Yet at the same time, I think it’s only right that we give Batley the credit they deserve.
Every single Batley player and member of their coaching staff should be proud of the way they played. They were a credit to their club and were a fantastic advert for the Co-operative Championship.
But obviously the main objective was achieved, that of getting through to the fifth round.
Furthermore, we’ve got a home tie to look forward to a week on Sunday when we host Catalan Dragons.
We obviously came desperately close to beating them in Perpignan the other week. To lose 13-12 to a late drop goal was another big disappointment.
But had we taken all our chances that day, we would have beaten them, so we know what we have to do to get the better of them.
We’ve also got home advantage this time around, too, and are home form has generally been good this season.
Let’s hope that theme continues after we’ve played St Helens at home in Super League on Saturday!
Although there were a lot of negatives in the Batley performance, were you encouraged with what you saw from youngsters Joe Wardle, Jamie Cording, Jon Molloy and Jacob Fairbank?
They all contributed to the tie.
Like many of the blokes who were out there, there were some good parts to their game and some not-so-good parts.
I think Bob Fairbank, in particular, deserves a mention for the way he played. In the short time he was on the field (around 15 minutes in the second half) he did a good, solid job.
He should be encouraged with how his senior debut went.
It’s been announced this week that back-rower Jon Molloy has joined Halifax on a dual-registration deal. Is this just what he needs at this stage of his development?
He’s now played three first-team games for us, and during his time on the field he’s shown he could have a good future ahead of him.
But the key to helping him fulfil his potential is to be playing at a good standard on a regular basis.
The Co-operative Championship is a closer standard to Super League that Under 20s, so the more game-time he gets at Halifax the better.
This could be an important move for him.
Allowing Jon to go to Halifax suggests your senior squad is still relatively healthy and not struggling for numbers. Is that the case?
Overall, it’s still looking fairly good.
Everyone who played at Batley has emerged relatively unscathed, although changes will be made for the Saints game.
Eight players who featured in Catalan weren’t included against Batley, but most of those will be back this weekend.
Unfortunately, that won’t include Andy Raleigh (neck) and Jamie Simpson (shoulder).
They’re not quite right for this week, but could be in contention for the Cup tie the following week.
And Keith Mason and David Fa’alogo could both be back in the next month.
Keith obviously hasn’t played since he picked up a knee injury in the home win over Wakefield at the beginning of April.
But he has been working tremendously hard on his rehab, and we’re looking at there weeks for Keith.
It’s also now starting to look a bit more positive for Dave, and we’re hoping it’ll be a month for him.
Wouldn’t it be great to begin the countdown to the end of the season with a fully-fit squad!
The latest stories coming out of Australia suggest a move to Penrith Panthers could now be even more attractive with Phil Gould about to be appointed the club’s new director of football. Are there any further developments?
No, but in the next week or two, I’d like to get it settled – not only for my own sake but for the Giants’ sake, for recruiting and retaining players going forward.
I’d like to think in the next couple of weeks we’ll get things sorted, one way or the other about what’s going to happen.
Are you surprised to have been charged by the RFL over your post-match comments at Leeds three weeks ago?
I don’t know whether I’m surprised or not, to be honest, but it does seem a long time ago.
I also know there’s no real point contesting the charge, that would be a waste of time. I’ve got more important things to worry about.
And I also know Luke O’Donnell didn’t deserve to be sent off.