Results-wise, Easter couldn’t have gone any better, could it?
No it couldn’t.
We were obviously looking to win at Salford and win at home to Wakefield, and that’s exactly what we did.
But, performance-wise, it was definitely pretty mixed.
We clearly took some positive steps forward at Salford. It was a big improvement on our previous performance in the defeat at Hull eight days earlier, although that wasn’t too difficult to do!
What probably pleased me the most on Friday was our defence, because with the structures Iestyn Harris is putting in place with the players he has, they’re going to be very, very dangerous. At times I thought we looked calm and composed.
And to score 40-odd points against a team containing the personnel it does was also rewarding.
I think our performance showed that when we have time to prepare, like we did against St Helens in the Cup and then at Salford, we are a very hard team to beat.
We obviously didn’t have much time to prepare for the Wakefield game on Monday and the game was very flat. It was a real low-energy game for whatever reason.
Once again we refused to do some of the fundamentals, so we made errors and that robs of you of energy.
Some of those errors we made were also inexcusable, and if we don’t step up for our next game at home to Castleford we’ll get burned.
You had voiced your concern going into the Wakefield game that it was effectively your second Easter on the trot, going from Sunday to Thursday turnaround one week and then following up with Friday to Monday the next. Could the players have used that as an excuse for the performance against Wakefield?
No, not at all, because we told them we wouldn’t let them.
We’re not a club that goes looking to make excuses, and this was definitely no exception.
Yes, it is a challenging period, but Easter is a challenging period for everyone, not just us.
All you can do is just get on with it, which is exactly what we did.
And we’ve known since our Challenge Cup defeat to St Helens a couple of weeks ago that we’d got next weekend off, which meant we’d have extra time to dust ourselves down and make sure we’re in the best shape we can be for our next game at home to Castleford a week on Sunday.
So are you planning to watch Castleford host Sheffield Eagles in the Challenge Cup on Sunday?
Yes I am. I’ll be going to watch (young Giants squad member) Peter Aspinall play, if selected.
He’s obviously on loan at the Eagles and this is a good opportunity to see how he’s doing.
It is, of course, another chance to look at Cas.
But we’ve also got every Cas game they’ve played this season on video and, with the weekend off, we’ve got plenty of time to watch them.
Jermaine McGillvary should be available for selection after missing the Wakefield win with a dead leg. How tough is it going to be choosing between Jerry, Aaron Murphy and Jodie Broughton for the wing spots against Castleford?
The way all three have played hasn’t made selection easy. They’re all very good players who are showing their quality.
What we have to do now is ‘up’ our quality in other areas of the field.
At this club we have good quality players all over the place, it’s just a case of everyone starting to show those qualities and playing well.
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