The Huddersfield Giants head coach answers the questions put by Examiner RL writer Chris Roberts
Is everyone nice and refreshed after a couple of days off?
It looks that way.
By having the big turnaround in fixtures (nine days between last Friday’s Castleford game and Sunday’s home derby against Wakefield), it’s allowed us to do some extra work and look to fix things up. It was painfully clear that our energy levels were down against Cas, so the break has probably come at just the right time.
Having said that, we’ve worked them really hard since they’ve returned to training – which was always planned, regardless of results – and that’s exactly what we felt was required to get everyone going again and playing to our potential once again.
In the game against Cas the other night, we probably had the most good-ball sets we’ve ever had , but we didn’t do anything with it. We just didn’t challenge them enough with the ball and, unfortunately, Cas looked very comfortable against most things we did against.
In that respect, you clearly missed Danny Brough that night. Could he be back from his dead-leg injury for Wakefield? Possibly.
At this stage, he’s definitely got a chance.
IN his absence, Ryan Brierley stepped up well from the substitutes’ bench to impress at half-back against Cas. Has that given you a bit more to think about?
He certainly showed some nice touches when he was introduced.
We obviously gave Ryan a couple of weeks off to refresh him, and we were pleased with the results.
We felt it was the right time to give him a break, because the start to his time with us seem to have taken it out of him physically.
After not playing for some time before he joined us from Leigh, he was thrown straight into Super League and it was clear the other week that he wasn’t in good shape. He needed to take a step back
You’ve got to remember that he’s still a relatively young player and new to this level, and, even though the initial signs have been extremely positive, it was always going to be tough for him at the start.
Because he slotted in so well in his more accustomed role at half-back rather than the full-back role he played for you before, does that mean you’re still a little undecided as to his future role at the Giants?
No it doesn’t.
I know and he knows what his long-term role’s going to be for us, although that’s going to remain between ourselves at the moment.
But there’s no doubt being able to play effectively at both half-back and full-back does give him a very useful extra string to his bow.
You admitted that Joe Wardle was one of those you felt was running on empty the other night. Is that because of his switch this season from centre to back row?
And the fact he’s having to learn a new position hasn’t helped, either, as has the fact that he had a disrupted start to the year due to injury.
But whether it’s Joe or anyone else in the squad, it’s up to us as coaching staff to try to figure out ways to get most out of the players in general.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it just seems as if we’re all going through the motions, and that’s simply not good enough.
It’s about time we started playing with a lot more grit and determination, and finally start to show again exactly what it means to play for this club.
There are people at the Giants who have invested significantly into this club over a number of years and, right now, they deserve far more than we, as a group, are giving them.