Ian Watson identifies the players who he thinks can make Huddersfield Giants challengers

Huddersfield is the birthplace of rugby league, so it feels like the city deserves a successful side.

In Super League they’ve been challengers before certainly under Paul Anderson who delivered the League Leaders’ Shield in 2013 and consecutive top four finishes the years following that success as they routinely made it to the semi-finals.

But its been decades since the Giants won a major final and nearly 70 years since Huddersfield won the Challenge Cup but under Ian Watson it feels like this may soon change.

Much criticism was thrown at Watson last year as he signed a lot of players only for the Giants to struggle and miss out on the play-offs by some distance. However, he was patient stuck to his project and now the Giants look like top four contenders this year and are in a Challenge Cup semi-final thanks to a Tui Lolohea inspired 24-16 win over Hull FC yesterday.

The perfect storm is brewing under Watson at Huddersfield and even if silverware alludes them in 2022, it feels like they’re heading in the right direction and could soon begin cementing themselves as serious challengers.

That’s Watson’s plan anyway as he stated as such after the game noting that playing in big semi-finals is where he wants the club to be in the long term and he identified the players in his squad he thinks will be central to delivering that: “This is where I want the club to get to, this is what we’re trying to build and to do that you have to have the right people. Chris Hill, Theo Fages they’ve brought the right mentality to the club to make us better.”

So, men like Theo Fages and Chris Hill will be key and you cannot disagree. They bring a winning mentality to the club having won silverware at Warrington and St Helens respectively. Also, the pair have something to prove and appear prepared to leave everything out on the field for the Giants as they strive to do so.

We should not overlook another of Watson’s smart recruits either in the shape of captain Luke Yates. He was exceptional yesterday and created the game-breaking try for Lolohea. He too is another leader Watson has brought in creating the right kind of mentality to spearhead the club forward.

Excited by the prospect of a cup semi-final now, Watson underlined how great it would be to win the cup but also was keen to remain focused on the league: “It would be awesome [to win the cup] but what we’ve got to do is get back on the horse in Super League and when the semi-final comes around focus on that.”

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7 months ago

You won’t go much further watto hull were p..s poor a showing up John fc