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Paul Cooke praises Ian Watson’s bold call and likens Huddersfield Giants recent form to Leeds Rhinos 2022 Grand Final push

Huddersfield Giants

The pre-season expectations for Huddersfield Giants were incredibly high with the side having narrowly lost to Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup Final and finished the Super League season sitting third.

Additions to the squad also prompted optimism with owner Ken Davy claiming it was the best squad the side had ever put together.

Among those additions were the likes of Jake Connor, who topped the Super League assists chart in 2022, whilst Esan Marsters and Kevin Naiqama were fresh faces in the centres.

Despite that optimism the Giants sit tenth in the table despite going on a run of three wins on the bounce and Sky Sports’ Brian Carney once again outlined that bold statement from Davy.

Speaking post-match, Carneh said: “He says ‘this is the best squad we have ever had’, so when you put into context where they find themselves this season, with eight games left for themselves, not really where Ken would want them to be, but heading in the right direction late, late as it is.”

That prompted former Hull FC and Hull KR playmaker Paul Cooke to compare the Giants to Leeds Rhinos of 2022, outlining one bold decision that has paid off for Ian Watson of late.

“Yeah, and a late charge can often bear fruition can’t it?

“Look at the Leeds Rivals last year, the late charge into the top six, which got them all the way to the Grand Final., it’s not how you start a season but it’s how you finish it.

“Trophies are handed out at the back end of August and October so I think it’s really important for Huddersfield to kick on.

“I think that Ian Watson is now deciding is what his settled team is. He’s left Esan Masters out. That was a massive signing from over in the NRL on big money.

“He’s now decided to leave him out of the team because he’s not performing and he’s now finding a team which he believes is the right formula to win more games.”

Whilst nothing is mathematically impossible for Huddersfield it would certainly be a stiff task to make the playoffs, with the Giants four points back with a game in hand against reigning champions St Helens.

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