Shaun Lunt is confident the Huddersfield Giants will put their lacklustre showing against Hull FC behind them and rise to the occasion at home to St Helens on Friday night.
Out-of-sorts Huddersfield struggled to secure a hard-fought 38-28 triumph over the Airlie Birds at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday.
The Super League Dream Team hooker knows a repeat performance will hand Saints the Super League Leaders Shield and cost Huddersfield a top-four finish.
But the 27-year-old doesn’t expect that to be the case, and instead expects the Giants to find their top form when it really matters.
“I don’t think we should take too much away from Hull, because they came to us and gave it their best shot,” said Lunt.
“But, at the same time, there’s no doubt we were nowhere near our best and nearly paid a very high price for that.
“Too many of us were off it yesterday, and I definitely include myself in that.
“The key is to make sure there’s no repeat against Saints on Friday night, and I’m 100% confident that’ll be the case.
“Our record against the teams in the top six this season have been good, and if we beat St Helens we’ll have beaten them all during the course of the year.
“That’s because we tend to raise our game when we face the teams around us, and that’s something we’re looking forward to doing on Friday.
“I know Saints will be fired-up because they’ve got the League Leaders Shield to play for, but this is our game, at our home and our chance to guarantee a top-four finish. Friday night is all about us.”
And with Lunt having missed a large chunk of this season with an ankle injury and then a calf problem, he’s feeling fresh for the challenges that still lie ahead.
“I know I’ve still got to work on my fitness,” he added.
“When I had the calf injury, I was unable to run for two months, and that’s put me way back, fitness-wise.
“But I’m starting to feel better now, and it’s helped that I’ve been able to play pretty big minutes over the past few weeks.
“So I’m hoping that between now and the end of the season, I’ll be in the best possible shape to give the Giants everything.”