Super League Preview: Huddersfield Giants

Transfers

In: Jack Ashworth (St. Helens), Jack Cogger (Canterbury), Ricky Leutele (Melbourne), Josh Jones (Hull FC), Luke Yates (Salford), Joe Greenwood (Wigan), George Roby (Warrington), James Cunningham, Olly Ashall-Bott (both free agents).

Out: Jordan Turner, Suaia Matagi (both Castleford), Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury), Adam Walne (Barrow), Akuila Uate (retired).

Can Giants rise again?

Huddersfield Giants are many people’s tips to be the surprise package of 2021, with the appointment of Ian Watson as head coach and a good squad to boot.

But Giants skipper Aidan Sezer sees his side as more than that – and he wants to lead Huddersfield to be among the big-hitters rather than a potential threat.

Internally, you suspect that sort of belief exists at most clubs, but externally, an impressive recruitment drive in coaching and playing personnel has seen expectation grow considerably at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“I don’t think a season is a success if you’re not playing finals,” he said.

“No matter who you are you want to be there and compete. It’s a common theme every year if you don’t make the finals.

“I’m always confident, I was confident last year, but there were some hurdles we didn’t get over. But this year we’ve got a really good squad.

“We’ve brought in some quality, obviously headlined by Watto (Ian Watson, head coach) and bringing in some good players as well, Ricky Leutele is a big one for us. I think a lot of us are better for the run last year.”

The key challenge in Huddersfield’s pursuit of a big breakthrough is to convert narrow losses into crucial wins. In the past two seasons, they have bottled too many big games that have defined their season.

And Sezer, who has been tipped by many to be named ‘Man of Steel’ come the end of the year, wants to turn those defeats into wins to move them up the table after two below-par years for the Giants.

He added: “Even though we were close on the scoreboard it was a good indication of the game. I think there was a lot of times we didn’t deserve to be in the game but we hung in there which was down to the character of the boys.

“But I think with the quality and experience we’ve brough in we can turn those games into wins and into points.

“It’s something we need to do, if we won a few of those games we’d be playing finals. We need to make sure we’re getting those wins and moving up the ladder.”

Prediction

The Giants are one of the most tantalising prospects heading into the upcoming season.

Their biggest off-season coup was the capture of Ian Watson, who is highly regarded as one of the competitions best head coaches after leading the Salford Red Devils to back-to-back cup finals.

The half back pairing of Man of Steel favourite Aidan Sezer and former Canterbury scrum half Jack Cogger is up there with the very best that the Super League has to offer.

If those two can find a spark, there's no reason the Giants shouldn't be pushing for a place in this years play-offs.

VAVEL Predicts - 6th

VAVEL Logo