Ian Watson explains the difficulties of the green card rule and stands by decision to rest key players

Huddersfield lost to St Helens this afternoon but made a good account of themselves against the Champions in a 24-12 loss.

The defeat leaves the Giants in fourth but ready to kick on this season and Ian Watson was proud of his side after the game and said it proves just where Huddersfield are at the moment: “It proves a few things to our own group about how good the strength in depth here is and we’ve got to take confidence from that because there were a few things there that Champion teams do to be able to get the result which we’ve got to learn and learn quicker.

“But from where we’ve come from 12 months ago to where we are now, we’re a completely different proposition and we need to make sure we keep building on that to get to where we want to.”

He also explained his decision to rest key players like Chris Hill as Huddersfield look to achieve something big in 2022: “It’s important for us to have done it. We don’t want to be breaking players. What we want for Huddersfield to be is a good team going forward long term and consistently challenging.

“We’ve got some quality players here but when some of those quality players are a little bit older, we’ve got to make sure we look after them in the right way.

“The guys underneath, we’ve had a belief in that they’re good enough and they’ve done a real good job there to put their hand up and want to be in the team going forward.

“I’ve got confidence in the squad, it’s a good squad. There were a couple of other players I’d have liked to play today but they’re just not ready yet.

“No regrets about it at all.”

He also explained what the challenge of two games in such a short space of time is like on players: “They take a lot out of you physically when you’re playing games in such a short space of time but generally it’s not this time when you feel it, it’s next week and the week after that and that’s why we’ve made changes today to be a bit smarter.”

It will be key for Huddersfield to get those players back as soon as possible with the Giants losing Adam O’Brien to a head injury today.

The incident had Giants fans angry as it took a while for the message to get to the officials that it was a head injury and the game needed to be stopped.

After the game, Watson gave his view on it: “It’s difficult because they’ve brought in the new rule with the green card, doctors are reluctant to get out on the field so it makes it difficult for your physios, your doctor and the referee to stop the game.

“You’d have liked it stop a bit quicker but listen it didn’t cost anyone and Adam got the attention he needed. Unfortunately, he didn’t pass his HIA so that’s him and Theo Fages out now.”

So, there’s a wait on Fages and O’Brien. He also gave an update on Matty English who hurt himself against Leeds colliding with the post: “We’re not sure but he’s getting better every day.”

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