Paul Anderson expects the Giants to play against Catalans Dragons with more intensity – and on the back of the best kicking game in Super League.
Huddersfield warmed up for Saturday’s second and final pre-season clash at home to the French with a highly-impressive 38-6 victory at Hull KR on Sunday.
Anderson’s men played with great control from start to finish on the east coast, with the head coach knowing the kicking game of Danny Brough and Jamie Ellis was a key factor.
And he wants to see a repeat this weekend, coupled with an even more clinical edge than that on show against the Robins in trial game No1.
“There was a lot to be encouraged about with the way we played at Hull KR,” said Anderson.
“Collectively, it’s our aim this year to play with more control off the back of a good kicking game, and there were signs we were doing that.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got the best kicking game in the comp with Danny Brough and Jamie Ellis – they’re both naturals at doing it - so it’s important we make full use of it.
“We gained our reward at Hull KR through our decision to kick our sets out and play off the back of it, and we’ll work towards trying to make it better and better.
“Even though our performance last weekend was very promising, we’re the first to accept that there are still some areas that need to be improved.
“For starters, I expect to see our intensity knock up another level against Catalans on Saturday.
“If we’re able to do that then I know we can be a lot more effective this week than we were last week.”
As well as the strong kicking games of Brough and Ellis, the debuts of Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sam Rapira and Oli Roberts were something else that encouraged Anderson.
With hooker Hinchcliffe and prop Rapira having been top competitors in the Australian NRL, they were always expected to make a strong opening impression.
But 20-year-old back-row forward Roberts – with just a handful of Super League appearances at Bradford Bulls to his name – looked equally at home after waiting over 12 months to make his Giants bow.
“Oli really was outstanding,” added Anderson.
“And there was no-one happier than me about that. As far as I’m concerned, he’s had to wait 12 months longer than he should have done to make this debut, but you could say it was well worth the wait.
“It said everything about Oli that he got a crack and was put on his backside in the first couple of minutes and immediately got up and scored a try.
“It was the perfect reaction to taking that hit, and showed what Oli’s capable of doing if you make him angry. Hopefully, he’ll keep on getting angry!
“Obviously, the start to his Giants playing career couldn’t have gone any better, and Hinchy and Sam weren’t that far behind.
“Hinchy rolled the ruck really well and had good control in his defence, while Sam looked very strong in his first game for quite some time, which is a reflection of the good work being done by head conditioner John Noonan and his team.
“But, like with the rest of the side, I’ll be expecting even more from them this weekend.”