Ian Watson explains why Huddersfield lost to Leeds Rhinos

Huddersfield Giants came up short last night against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley in an 18-17 loss.

Speaking after the game, Giants boss Ian Watson gave his thoughts:

“Similar again to last year where we lost it kind of at the death last year. They’ve been really good games every time we’ve played Leeds. I just thought Leeds seemed to find the way out of their end a little bit too easily, probably down our left edge and obviously they got the spoils on the back end of it.”

He also responded to how Leeds going down to 12 actually appeared to work in favour of the Rhinos: “We started to chase it I think in that period. We spoke about it at half time about being patient and getting back to what we’d been doing because I think we started really well and it was working. We just started to probably chase it a little bit and then Chris Hill forced an offload in that area, so you don’t complete a set straight away and that gives them a little bit of energy.

“Then we came down this end and Kev Naiqama either got put in touch or made an error and again you’re just taking pressure off them and putting pressure on yourself, when really they’re down to 12 men so you just need to be patient.

“We defended our goal line well, I thought the resilience we showed to do that was phenomenal and it was a great mentality. We went down the other end and got a drop goal which was really smart by Jake and that should have energised us but I think it probably took a fair bit of energy away from us and worked the other way.

Either way, Watson believes there are positives in the defeat: “There’s loads of positives. You look at the games against St Helens and Wigan, and now this Leeds and we knew we were going to build this year and that it would take us a bit of time to get everyone on the same page.”

He also explained why his side lost: “We’ve lost the game there because people started playing the game individually, rather than as a team which hurt us. The big thing I’d say as well is that every team playing us at the moment is full strength, we seem to be playing everybody full strength or when they’re getting players back. You look at the Wigan game, the St Helens game, Leeds were pretty much close to their full team out there. We’re kind of a long long way from that and we’re facing a fair bit of adversity but the way the boys are applying themselves is first class to be fair and it shows good signs. You’d rather learn the lessons now than at the back end of the year.”

Watson also discussed narrow defeats after they have also lost to Wigan Warriors and St Helens narrowly in recent weeks: “We’ve just got to be a bit better and a bit smarter in our processes. What happened was they started to get a leg up and started to get the ruck speed a little bit quick, what we did was start to defend individually rather than as a team which we’d done in the first half.

“I’m not too disheartened by it at all, I knew this year would be a little bit of a slow burner to start. What we can’t be doing is saying that it’s a slow burner in five or six weeks and we’ve got to start picking up some wins as well.

“I’d like to look at it positively that we are in the games and some things we feel could have gone either way.”

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Watson is overated too much talk he lost the cup final because he picked lolohia to kick and not the regular kicker ???

1 month ago

Now he’s dropped Russel for Connor ???