The 2022 Super League season is over for Huddersfield.
It has been a terrific season for the Giants and the disappointment of today’s defeat shouldn’t take away from this. The Giants finished third in the table moving six places up the table after last season’s ninth finish, and of course they got all the way to the Challenge Cup Final as well.
Today didn’t reflect the quality they’ve played with all season nor the potential of the project at the John Smith’s Stadium thought it did remind everyone that the Giants are still a learning side and next year Ian Watson wants to go further than they did in 2022 but after the game, Watson reflected on why his couldn’t take one step closer to the Grand Final this time around as he admitted “The best team won.”
“I thought Salford were really good,” Watson said, “They got us with a few offloads and Andy Ackers got a few breaks on the back of that. A lot similar to the game we played at Salford. They just got the ruck too quick and they got in front of us.
“We kind and compound everything with errors, discipline and we never looked like scoring. We looked like we’d been punched in the face and didn’t know what to do on the back of it.
“I thought we played real dumb. We’ve got to read what D is doing.”
What didn’t help matters is the fact hooker Danny Levi went off with what Watson revealed to be a suspected MCL injury: “There’s a suspicion of an MCL but he’s moving around quite nicely. A lot different to what Jez was.
When asked if he could feature in the World Cup, Watson said: “We’ll see.”
Another blow for Huddersfield today was the absence of young forward Olly Wilson and Watson shed some light on him: “England Knights won’t know that Olly Wilson will probably have to pull out of that. He’s got a little bit of an issue at the moment so he won’t be available to do that.”
The trouble for Huddersfield was really that their star players didn’t quite hit the standards we know they can, and Watson revealed that one of them admitted to the side after the game that they weren’t “good enough.”
Watson said: “Theo has said in there about how he felt he wasn’t good enough today in that area and we’re probably looking to Theo to do that to be fair. He’s had one tough game there and we didn’t know whether he was going to be playing until earlier this week anyway, he’s probably missed that repetition whilst for Olly Russell and Will Pryce it’s learning.”