SIMON FINNIGAN is hoping the relief of not having to do the dreaded end-of-season naked run will help him make an even bigger impact for the Giants between now and the end of the season.
The 28-year-old back-row forward crossed for his first try of the year in Sunday’s big 40-4 Super League win over Harlequins as Huddersfield virtually guaranteed a play-off spot with four games to spare.
But while Finnigan was only too aware of the importance of the win, he admitted the fact he opened his try-scoring account for the season and avoided the traditional forfeit of the streak meant far more to him.
“I’ve never actually done the naked run before, so I was starting to get a bit twitchy,” he admitted.
“I went into the Quins game knowing there wouldn’t be that may opportunities left for me, and with the fact I usually start seasons scoring a few tries and then struggle to get them towards the end meant the pressure was really on.
“But I can forget about all that now and know I won’t be turning up for training with the boys ready to give me some stick over what could be happening to me at the end of the year.
“And that certainly feels good. I can start to chill out a bit more, knowing a major distraction is out of the way and I can focus 100% on getting back to full fitness and doing everything I can for the side between now and the end of the season.
“With the way things are shaping up, the rest of this season could be really exciting for us and I just hope I can play a part in that.”
Finnigan’s long delay at scoring his first try in 2010 was obviously down to the fact he has missed three-quarters of the season following major neck and shoulder surgery.
Sunday’s clash against Quins was his fourth of the season and he feels he’s starting to contribute more with every game he plays.
“After such a long time out, I always knew it would take me a bit of time to get back into it,” he added. “But I’ve now got a couple of 80-minute games under my belt and I’m now starting ton feel a lot better than I have for a long time.
“Having said that, I also still realise I’m not back to my best just yet. I’ve been playing catch-up all year. But with my body being in pretty good shape, because I haven’t been taking the knocks all year, I’d like to think I can make a positive contribution between now and the end of the season.
“When that’s done, I’m looking forward to getting a pre-season under my belt and I can give even more to the Giants next year.”