NATHAN BROWN has warned his players to leave nothing to chance as the Giants bid to ease their Challenge Cup final pain at Super League strugglers Celtic Crusaders tomorrow (6.00).
On paper, it would appear a game against the competition’s bottom team is the perfect opportunity for coach Brown’s men to get their season back on track after suffering Wembley heartache at the hands of Warrington Wolves six days ago.
A fourth-placed finish for the Giants is already almost 100% guaranteed, while the Crusaders are eight points adrift at the foot of the top-flight table with just three wins to their name.
The Welshmen are also to have six of their best players deported back to Australia because of visa violations and suffered a 68-0 home defeat against Leeds Rhinos two weeks ago in the first game they missed.
But with Brown having spent the week trying to lift his players after their massive Challenge Cup final loss, he knows nothing can be taken for granted.
“This week really is all about us and the way we respond to the events of last Saturday,” said Brown.
“Obviously, we’re all well aware of what has gone on at the Crusaders.
“It’s very unfortunate they’ve lost so many of their best players because of their visa problems, and they’re also without several other key people because of injuries.
“But we’ve got our own situation to consider, and that means finding the best way to guarantee we don’t let the Cup final defeat spill over into what we do in Super League.
“We know what needs to be done for the rest of the year, and we must make sure last Saturday doesn’t pull us back.
“And, in that respect, I mean the coaching staff as much as anybody.
“We have to make sure we put the right things in place so everyone is back in a very positive frame of mind for the challenges that still lie ahead.
“Yes, we are confident of finding the right response this weekend, especially against a side who have been struggling.
“But we’re involved in a funny game, and we know we have to make sure we get our attitude and effort right or else we could struggle.
“That’s the last thing we need now as we re-focus on Super League and the play-offs.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to get to fourth, and the challenge is to make sure we get back to doing the things that got us there in the first place.
“That’s something we obviously failed to do in the Challenge Cup final, so we have to make sure we don’t repeat that in the play-off.
“That’s the challenge that now faces everyone.”