NATHAN BROWN’S side suffered last minute heartache at Leeds as the Giants moved a step closer tocompleting the signing of former Australia Test back-rower Luke O’Donnell.
Proud coach Brown, whose side lost 21-20 at Headingley, where a Kevin Sinfield injury time drop goal proved decisive, said: “It would be impossible not to praise the tremendous effort and commitment from all 17 players.”
Giants were denied a first victory at Headingley since 1959 and it was a cruel way to end a highly impressive Giants performance.
And even though Brown has conceded the defeat has almost certainly ended his side’s hopes of a top four finish, he is confident his players will benefit from the manner of the defeat.
Brown added: “ It is obviously bitterly disappointing to have gone down to defeat to in such manner, but is rates as the ‘best’ loss we have had since I have been here.
“And I also feel the way we lost would be good in terms of the club’s development.
“If we can learn the lessons of the last few minutes, and keep on improving in a few key areas we could finish he season well and take some momentum into the play-offs.
“It’s now our job to build on this and with some players to return soon we still have a lot to look forward to.”
Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s manager, Wayne Beavis, has revealed the North Queensland Cowboys star has agreed a four-year deal with the Giants, although it is thought the formalities have yet to be completed.
The 29-year-old has rejected offers from the Cowboys, as well as fellow Australian NRL clubs Newcastle and Cronulla, to test himself in the English game.
And Beavis has rejected the assertion his client is looking to leave the country because of his poor record at the judiciary.
It is believed O’Donnell has been frustrated at his failure to secure representative honours because of his suspensions, and he was ruled out of this year’s final State of Origin clash after being banned over a spear tackle in game two.
But Beavis said: “'This is a decision based on his football, based on his remuneration.
“He’s disappointed he’s leaving the NRL, but he sees this as a new challenge.
“He enjoyed his time at the Cowboys, they were good to him and he was good to them. At the end of the day, he’s secured a four-year deal, and it’s good money.”