BATTERED Huddersfield Giants are today counting the cost of yesterday’s demoralising 36-0 defeat at Super League strugglers Bradford Bulls.
As well as failing to re-claim third spot from St Helens with five games of the regular season remaining, head coach Nathan Brown is facing the prospect of being without captain Kevin Brown for several weeks.
The influential stand-off is today being checked out to assess the full extent of the damage to the right knee he injured during the early stages of yesterday’s clash.
Former Australian Test back-rower Luke O’Donnell is also being assessed after picking up a heavy knock, with the nature of the injury being kept firmly under wraps by Galpharm chief Brown at this stage.
But O’Donnell, too, looks to be a big doubt for next Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final clash at Castleford Tigers.
And Brown knows that if his side doesn’t make a dramatic improvement they can forget about making a trip to Wembley – or mounting a serious claim for a place in the Super League Grand Final.
“This was another disappointing day for us,” said Brown, who revealed former New Zealand Test back-rower David Fa’alogo had failed a late fitness test on a slight knock.
“We again fell way short of the standards we’ve set ourselves and could have lost another couple of key players in the process.
“I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing Kev for a few weeks with his knee injury, although it’s nowhere near as bad as the one he suffered the other year (in the Challenge Cup final of 2009 which ended his season prematurely).
“And we’re also not sure about Luke either at this stage. He’s also struggling.
“In fact, their injuries just summed up the day.
“Quite clearly our resolve isn’t as good as it was earlier in the year and it’s not at the level that we’ve set ourselves over the past couple of years, that’s for sure.
“We’ve had a couple of really good weeks of training and I thought, because we had all our key players back in their key positions, we’d do a lot better than we did.”
Hull KR, meanwhile, are believed to be close to confirming the capture of Giants winger David Hodgson.