Club captain Leroy Cudjoe has hailed the progress and influence of promising half back Ollie Russell at Huddersfield Giants.
The teenager landed the match-winning penalty as Simon Woolford’s side turned around an 18-point deficit to win 26-25 against Catalans Dragons last time out.
And as the Australian head coach takes stock ahead of the trip to Hull KR on Friday week, June 29, Cudjoe is delighted with what he’s seen fromt he club’s No34 in the absence of experienced Danny Brough.
“Ollie Russell is going well, he’s got a 100 per cent win record for us at the moment and kicked the winning points in two of those games, so it’s fair to say he’s playing well,” said Cudjoe.
“He’s gaining confidence with every game he plays, too, and the key for him now is to keep building and maintain his consistency.”
Having made a 28-18 winning debut against Widnes on May 4, Russell kicked four goals in the 25-18 win at Leeds and three more against Catalans – including the decider with three minutes to play.
“It was a massive win last week against Catalans Dragons and one that was much needed,” added Cudjoe.
“We maintained our Super 8s spot for now and it puts us in a position where we are in control of our own destiny.
“To come back from three tries down to get the win was outstanding – the effort the boys showed to turn that around was class.
“We always had belief we could get back into the game and score enough points to win, which is what we spoke about at half-time.
“As a group are very happy with our position in the league at the moment, considering the start to the year we had.
“We’ve worked hard to put ourselves in a good position, but we know we’ve a lot of hard work to go yet.
“We will take it one game at a time and keep working hard to get the two points each week.”
While the Giants have some down time ahead of the trip across the M62, Jermaine McGillvary is with the England squad in Denver, USA, for the weekend Test against New Zealand, having grabbed two tries against Catalans.
Cudjoe added: “We played some good rugby at times against Catalans and it was also good to see Jerry get some ball,” he said.
“Scoring two tries which will give him a lot of confidence heading to Denver for the Test match against New Zealand.
“Our attack will keep getting better the more we spend time with Simon Woolford and the more training we do to build combinations.
“The style of play Simon has brought over I’m sure will entertain our supporters, but it takes time when you change things mid-season and we will keep improving on that weekly.”
The Giants attracted a season-high crowd of 9,212 on the back of chairman Ken Davy’s offer of free admission to those who pre-registered for tickets.
“The attendance and atmosphere was class; as players it gives us a buzz and a lift when we really need it,” explained Cudjoe.
“Fans can have a massive influence on game day with the energy they can create around the ground, which as players you want.
“I really hope everyone enjoyed the game and we have attracted some new fans and, hopefully, some old fans back.
“It would be great to back up that attendance in our next few home games to push us into the Super 8s.”