Huddersfield Giants have made the play-offs for the first time since 2015.
Their run in the finals seven years ago was interestingly seventh play-off appearance in a row and now after seven years out of them they’re back and hoping to make a real splash.
The Giants are excited by the prospect including Chris McQueen who was this morning named in the Super League Dream Team capping off a terrific season in which he has been the top try scoring forward in the league and won the Lance Todd Trophy.
Excited by the play-offs, McQueen also made it clear that the hard working is just beginning: “I’m really enjoying playing footy, we’ve had a really successful year but the finals are just starting now. We’ve played all year to get to this point so we haven’t achieved anything yet, so it has been a good year for me personally and the Giants but if we don’t achieve anything in terms of silverware then I guess it’s hard to call it a success.”
He also had his say on their play-off opponents Salford who recently beat the Giants comprehensively on route to finals football: “We played them a month ago and they did a number on us. We haven’t had a chance to get together and discuss how we want to approach the game but we’ll do that throughout the week and I’m sure Watto [Ian Watson] is doing his work and figuring out his game plan.”
The narrative surrounding the game is mainly centred around that man Ian Watson coming up against his former side, but McQueen says the Giants aren’t interested in narratives: “When you see those narratives they’re to sell a story and pump up the game, but as footy players and as coaches we’re all competitive, we want to show up and win every game.
“We don’t need any more motivation. It’s the first week of the play-offs and it’s been a long time since the Giants have played in the finals, it’s sudden death so we don’t need any more motivation.”
We also had the chance to ask McQueen what his thoughts on the play-off system as a whole were and whether or not it’s long enough.
He however felt there’s bigger things to be addressed than the finals system: “The difficulty is, there’s only 12 teams. If you have eight teams in the play-offs, there’s going to be teams with losing records who haven’t done too well through the year making the finals.
“The finals system as it is is fine given that there’s only 12 teams. I’m sure at some point if they look at expansion and bringing more teams in then I’m sure they’ll have a look at expanding that final series but at the moment the final series is good.
“Personally, there are some other areas that could be addressed before that like expansion.”