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Opinion

Huddersfield’s improvement from 2019 is drastic

18 Aug 20, 7:06AM 0 Comments

Written by Callum Walker

Photo by Huddersfield Giants

If anyone was tipped to be near the bottom of the table following 2019, it was going to be Huddersfield. They finished just two points above relegated London Broncos and were only saved on the last day of the season when the Broncos failed to beat Wakefield.

Wind the clock forward to 2020 and they seem a completely different animal, despite being under the same boss Simon Woolford. Four signings in the shape of Ashton Golding, James Gavet, Kenny Edwards and Aidan Sezer – as well as youngster Owen Trout – were brought in as Woolford looked to strengthen.

That quartet have shined so far for the Giants in 2020 with Sezer striking up a fantastic partnership with former St Helens utility Lee Gaskell in the halves. That partnership proved devastating as four wins from their opening five games propelled Huddersfield into the top four prior to lockdown.

Two losses in as many games has threatened to derail the Giants’ season, but defeats to Leeds and Warrington following the resumption of play have not exactly been blowouts. In fact, the West Yorkshire side were on the receiving end of one-point losses, courtesy of a drop-goal from Luke Gale and Blake Austin respectively.

Against Leeds, the Giants held a 26-6 lead until the final 15 minutes whilst against Warrington, they were down to just 13 men by the hour mark. Yes, they should have beaten Leeds with such a large lead, but they clung on in dramatic fashion at the weekend to almost spring an unbelievable victory over the Wolves.

The Huddersfield of last year would have lost by 20 points or more when faced with such adversity as losing your starting prop in the fourth minute (Matty English), his replacement in the 53rd minute (Adam Walne) and your talisman and skipper (Sezer) just before the hour mark.

What seems to be different for the Giants this year is the willingness to toughen up in the face of adversity. And, with Woolford putting a great deal of faith in his youth – indeed, the likes of Sam Hewitt, Sam Wood, Jake Wardle, Darnell McIntosh and Olly Russell have all settled in seamlessly – the future looks bright for the West Yorkshire side.

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