Drop-goal hero Leroy Cudjoe fully expects the Giants to go to Wigan on Thursday and win – because he believes his hometown club is on the verge of doing something special in the play-offs.
Third-placed Huddersfield head to the DW Stadium for their Super League qualifying semi-final against the second-placed Warriors unbeaten in their last seven top-flight fixtures.
The Giants made it six wins and a draw from those fixtures, with Cudjoe’s 71st-minte drop goal sealing a thrilling 17-16 victory over leaders St Helens at the John Smith’s Stadium to guarantee that third-place finish.
And the England centre sees no reason at all why that unbeaten run won’t be extended against a Wigan side who have suffered a League double at the hands of Huddersfield in 2014.
“As a team, we’re really looking forward to the play-offs,” said Cudjoe, who helped the Giants secure a 24-8 triumph at Wigan on the opening-day of the season in February and then played a key role in the 31-22 win in Huddersfield in May.
“We’re unbeaten in our last seven games, the squad’s in decent shape and we’ve got a good recent record against Wigan.
“As a result, we believe we can do something special in the play-offs this year. There’s definitely no reason why we can’t, especially if we show the qualities we displayed against Saints the other night.
“The great thing about the win was the fact we were, as a team, aggressive, hard working and played smart. With the personnel we had out, we showed great effort to get the job done.
“And, personally, I’m delighted to have come through the game relatively unscathed.
“I’ve obviously had my fair share of knocks and missed a couple of games over the past few months. Not surprisingly, it meant my body was rather sore the day after the game, but it’s easier to handle after a win, particularly after I kicked the drop goal to help us win.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever landed one, and it’s also only the second time I’ve attempted one.
“The last time I had a go was at Under 18s level, but it was a pretty woeful effort, to be honest.
“So to see this one sailing between the posts was a really special feeling.”
Thursday’s Wigan-Giants clash kick-off the 2014 Super League play-off series, with Saints hosting Castleford in the second qualifying semi-final 24 hours later.
Those were confirmed after Saints’ position at the top of the table was guaranteed after Castleford Tigers, the only club which could mathematically overtake them, were beaten 28-6 at Catalans Dragons.
That result meant Castleford finished fourth and have to travel to Langtree Park, when St Helens will be handed the Super League Leaders Shield.
The winners of the two qualifying play-offs will have a bye in week two of the play-offs, when the losing teams will be at home to the winners of the two elimination play-offs.
All four play-offs in week one will be televised live by Sky Sports, whose cameras will be at both The Halliwell Jones Stadium and Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Saturday for a compelling double bill of elimination play-offs.
The do-or-die action kicks off at 2.45pm when fifth-placed Warrington Wolves face Widnes Vikings, who are making their debuts in the play-offs after securing a competition-best eighth-place finish.
The focus then switches to Headingley at 5.15pm when sixth-placed Leeds Rhinos, the only club to win the Grand Final from fifth place, start their campaign with a home play-off against Catalans Dragons.