Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson was vocal after their pre-season friendly against Castleford Tigers about disciplinary.
The Giants have been hit the hardest by suspensions in pre-season with Oliver Wilson the first Super League player hit with a ban in 2024.
This was followed up by bans for Leroy Cudjoe and Tui Lolohea which was confirmed last week but could not be served against Castleford Tigers in pre-season.
Fortunately for the Giants, Cudjoe can serve his one-match this week as the Giants reserves take on Wigan Warriors in the return match for Mike Cooper.
However, only one of Lolohea’s games can be served here. But making matters worse, skipper Luke Yates has been banned for three games.
With this ban coming on Thursday, he can’t serve the ban against Wigan so will miss three Super League games.
This has proven Ian Watson right. Watson stated on the club’s official website: “He’s all right. Yeah, they’re always the worries. It looks like someone’s dropped down badly on his leg, but in a game like this, you’re worrying about picking up injuries.
“You’ve seen it throughout the league already. There’s too many players who’ve already picked niggles up and then all of a sudden we’ve got a suspension as well at the start of the year.
“So whilst the friendlies are needed to get people ready, you’ve got to be careful of what suspensions you pick up and obviously any injuries.
“Hopefully, today it looks like we’ve come through pretty healthy so that was the main thing today as well as getting some minutes under some people’s belts.”
Huddersfield Giants not saved by amnesty
Once again, Huddersfield Giants have not been saved by the RFL’s amnesty for Head Contact in pre-season unlike their rivals.
Warrington Wolves this time dodged bans for Connor Wrench and Brad Dwyer as the RFL provide leeway in pre-season.
They explained: “The MRP will notify the player and their club of the charge and sanction they would have received…but the charge and sanction will not come into force or be lodged on the player’s record. This gives everyone a chance to see what will be coming but gives them an opportunity to rectify matters before the season kicks off formally. This also protects against the most serious foul play by banning at the top end of grades thereby not moving away from protecting players.
“The RFL appreciate some of these changes require player and coach buy-in. By doing this it gives everyone time to adjust, ensures our best players can play at the start of the season but will give awareness as to what will be ahead for us.”
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