By Tom Stevens
Chris Thorman wants Huddersfield Giants to defend solidly and cut out stupid mistakes as the platform for their performance against St Helens.
The Giants travel to Langtree Park second bottom of the table and face a Super League-leading side toppled just twice all season.
Thorman knows his men are up against the best side in the competition, but he feels many of the Giants wounds are self inflicted and wants a stop put to that - immediately!
Speaking of the blunders which contributed to the 30-12 home reversal againt Salford Red Devils last time out, Thorman explained: “What happened last week was unacceptable.
“I think we had 14 unforced errors and when you combine that with 12 penalties that James Child gave against us, that’s 26 sets we handed to Salford.
“And I don’t care who you are, if you do that you are not going to win the game.
“It is something we are conscious of and working on.
“I’m a big advocate of playing rugby league as it should be, free and flowing and on the front foot – and backing yourself and backing your ability.
“But at the same time you have to be more accountable with the ball.
“We would stand up to the play the ball and knock it on, Seb (Ikahihifo) lost it in contact, Ollie (Roberts) lost it in contact and that, for me, is not necessarily a skill or an execution, that’s just an attention to detail and a concentration thing.
“And if they consistently do it (any player) then they just won’t get picked.”
On the concession of penalties, Thorman added: “There are a few things and it generally comes to the ruck and the play-the-ball.
“If you are efficient and your tackle is accurate and you are efficient in the play the ball then you generally don’t get penalised as much.
“That is something we are consciously working on and will continue to work on and hopefully it will improve. If it does, then hopefully our discipline will improve too.”
Thorman wants a bright start and an intense 80 minutes from his side, but he says the onus has to be on the Gaints defence.
“As a coach you work on everything, but it doesn’t matter what your gameplan is if you defend softly,” he said.
“You have to come with intent, you have to undersand your role in the team defensively.
“We have brought in a couple of new structures and some new calls, especially with Mark Andrews on board – he is big on that detail.
“So we have emphasised that in training and it has to be our priority, especially against a free-flowing St Helens team who have scored more tries than anyone else in the competition.
“If you defend properly then it gives you energy to attack, and if you have energy to attack you can be clinical and express yourselves a bit more.”
Giants squad: Jordan Turner, Aaron Murphy, Lee Gaskell, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Kruise Leeming, Shannon Wakeman, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Jordan Rankin, Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Daniel Smith, Adam Walne, Alex Mellor, Darnell McIntosh, Tyler Dickinson, Colton Roche, Sam Wood, Innes Senior.
Saints squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, Theo Fages, Matty Smith, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Luke Douglas, Morgan Knowles, Luke Thompson, Dom Peyroux, Danny Richardson, Regan Grace, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, Ben Barba, James Bentley, Matty Costello.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.