As the Super League season kick-off draws closer, we look at how Huddersfield Giants will go in 2018.
It’s not been the greatest last two seasons for the Giants, after a near relegating season in 2016, followed by a struggle of a 2017 season that just saw them scrape into the Super 8’s. Fans will be hoping for a more consistent year in 2018, one that wont leave them frustrated.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Colton Roche (Bradford Bulls), Adam Walne (Salford Red Devils)
Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers), Sam Rapira (Toulouse Olympique)
FIRST FIVE (in the league)
Hull FC (A), Warrington (H), St Helens (H), Wakefield (A), Widnes (A)
WHAT TO EXPECT
Huddersfield fans have not had anything to shout about for a few years now, and I can’t see that changing much that season. I do believe they’ll have a better campaign than they did in 2017, but I just down see them going far enough to compete for trophies. They had a real slow start to their 2017 season, but then finally started to play to sort of rugby that Giants fans expect and know they can produce. They turned their season around and just about fell into the Super 8’s. They’ll be hoping to go one step further this year and make their place in the Super 8’s more solid, and worthy. The only chance they have for silverware is the Challenge Cup. You only have to win a couple of games as a Super League side, and you’re in the final – anything is possible.
It was a real shame when Jake Mamo got injured during their 2017 campaign and was forced to miss the rest of the season. He was a real eye catcher for the Giants, one that came over from NRL club Newcastle Knights, where he’d scored 11 tries in 29 games, and made a huge impression. Not only did he impress his new fans down at Huddersfield, but he also caught the eye of the rest of Super League. Before his unfortunate injury, he was on 12 tries and two try assists from the full-back position – which was a real strong, solid return for his new club. His return to the squad is a huge one, and one that can lift the rest fo the team. I just hope he continues from where he left off in 2017, and we continue to see this 23-year-old take Super League by storm.
Huddersfield haven’t taken ‘giant’ strides to improving their squad – with only two new signings coming into the fold. Those players are Colton Roche and Adam Walne, the former being more well-known to fellow Super League fans as the prop joins from Salford where he contributed well in his 74 appearances for the club. The former of the two players, signs from struggling League 1 side – Bradford Bulls. The prop was in-demand with a few big clubs and was unsure of his final destination. However, he felt like this move was best for him and his career, and probably the right one too, as he will get a fair bit of playing time. While they maybe haven’t improved the team as some fans would want, they have brought in two solid forwards who will only improve the pack for 2018.
The Giants face a real sticky start to the 2018 Super League season. They kick-start their new campaign against Hull FC, Warrington and Saints. It doesn’t really get much tougher than that. They do then have games against Wakefield and Widnes to even themselves out, but you feel for them early doors. They could easily lose all three of their opening games, and suddenly the Wakefield game, four weeks in, becomes a must win for them. They could very quickly end up at the wrong end of the table, a fair few points behind the rest. Now, it’s not going to end their season – but what it will do, is firstly start some murmurs in the crowd, and secondly start to pile pressure on the coach and his players from the get go. However, if they where to win just one of their first three games, then went on to beat Wakefield and Widnes, then you’d say they’d had a good start to the new season – it’s all ifs, buts and maybes.
Top Tryscorer – Jermaine McGillvary
Top Pointscorer – Danny Brough
Club Player of the Year – Jermaine McGillvary
WHERE WILL HUDDERSFIELD FINISH?
I believe Huddersfield Giants have a decent squad, one that should be making the Super 8s come the end of the regular season. They have some quality players in key positions, and that could be the difference. Huddersfield to finish seventh after the Super 8s.