HUDDERSFIELD Giants playmaker Ryan Hinchcliffe is looking forward to a new adventure in rugby league.

While the 32-year-old has played in the NRL Grand Final and won the World Club Championship, he has never faced the challenge of the Super 8s series.

The Giants confirmed they will compete with their 26-4 home win over Leigh Centurions in the penultimate round of the regular Super League season.

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For Hinchliffe, who signed a three-year contract with the Giants ahead of last season, his only experience of Super League led to the battle of the Middle 8s last time out.

“It is a new challenge for us now and our goals have changed, but the chance is there for us now to kick on straight away,” said Hinchcliffe, who starred in Melbourne Storm’s 2012 Premiership victory over Canterbury Bankstown and in their 2013 World Club Challenge win over Leeds Rhinos.

“It all comes down to our preparation in the final stages of the season, but that is something we have done right over the last couple of months of the season.

“We have had some quality sessions from week to week and that has allowed us to be consistent on the field.

“We have to continue to do that but we also have to look to step things up a level for the Super 8s.”

However, there is the small matter of the final game of the regular season away to Hull FC tomorrow night and the Giants will be looking to build on consecutive home wins, in which they beat Widnes Vikings 40-0 and then the victory over Leigh that confirmed their Super League status.

“Our defence has been a lot better in the second half of the regular season and that has helped us to build some momentum,” added Hinchcliffe.

“At the start of the year we were probably conceding around 30 points a game on average, but now that will be about 12 to 16 points tops – and that gives you so much more chance.

“If our defence is pretty good then the rest of the play starts to take care of itself.

“Also having a good defence shows that your attitude is right and, from that point of view, defence is a really big part of the game.

“As far as the Super 8s go we will have to take it a game at a time and see where we end up.

“We are not looking too far ahead, but if we have a good week in training and get our preparation right we are a match for any team.

“If we understand what we need to do and stick to our gameplan, then we have every reason to be confident.”

The Giants will face four away trips in the Super 8s and, if they are to reach the semi-finals, will need to overcome the teams above them, but Hinchcliffe is happy the Giants squad have the quality to achieve those goals.

“We can beat any of the teams who are above us, but equally there are a lot of good teams above us,” said Hinchcliffe.

“So we simply have to get our game in order first and, if we do that, then we have every reason to believe we can win the games in front of us.

“But basically all we can deal with right now is that we have Hull in front of us and, if we go out and make sure we know what we are doing, then we have every chance of winning that game.”


Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary , Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell, Danny Brough, Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Tyler Dickinson, Darnell McIntosh, Alex Mellor, Adam O’Brien, Martyn Ridyard, Jordan Rankin

Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Danny Washbrook, Sika Manu, Josh Bowden, Brad Fash, Masi Matongo

Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL)