Written by John Davidson
Luke Robinson is enjoying a dream start as caretaker coach of Huddersfield, with the Giants registered their third straight victory under him with a 32-22 result against Hull KR.
Huddersfield have accounted for Wakefield, Castleford and now the Robins since Robinson replaced Simon Woolford at the helm a fortnight ago. With his enthusiastic and positive demeanor, the former England international has made an immediate impact at the John Smith’s Stadium.
While many have tipped the Giants to look outside the club for a permanent coach, Robinson is putting his own hand up with the impressive winning run.
“It’s something that’s out of my control,” he admitted after the match.
“I can only control the controllables. I only make sure the players have the confidence to perform.
“I believe in the players we’ve got, I think there’s more in them. I believe in the young lads we’ve got. It’s nice and easy when you win.”
Something certainly in the 36-year-old’s favour is his time coaching Huddersfield’s Under-19s for the past few years. Several of the players from team that are now part of the first-team squad and he enjoys a good relationship with the.
“I’ve been very fortunate enough to come through with their careers in the Under-19s, we’ve come through together,” he said.
“I trust them, I trust them because I’ve worked with them before. We’ve got a core that’s come through the systems and know the club. The future is bright if we can keep them together.”
Another factor is his honesty and openness. Robinson admitted his side were far from perfect against Hull KR, despite taking an 18-0 lead into half-time.
“It was ugly, we were really disciplined in our approach in the first half,” he said.
“The weather conditions were difficult to play in but I thought we were really disciplined. But we have to find a better way to start second halves. It’s a concentration thing.
“If we really want to get where we want to, we have to find that ruthless streak. Leeds was a prime example at Headingley this year. I feel like we did that again tonight. We have to change our mindset.”
Robinson is a perfectionist who lives and breathes rugby league. The Halifax product, who had spells as a player with Wigan as well as with Castleford, Salford and Huddersfield, knows acutely that it is results and not style that matters at this stage of the season.
“I’d rather played rugby and win then play pretty and lose. It is all about the results.
“We just want to put points on the board at this stage. Winning becomes a habit, just like losing does. At the minute we’ve found that winning habit and we’ve turned those performances into wins. It’s a really good sign.”
The Giants face sterner tests ahead with matches against Salford, Hull FC, Wakefield and Castleford again, Wigan, Warrington and Catalans to finish off the regular season. They remain a chance of breaking into the top four, sitting in sixth spot but with touching distance of the fifth-placed Dragons and fourth-placed Rhinos.
But if Robinson can keep Huddersfield’s revival going, and challenge for a semi-finals spot, then the ex-halfback may just prove an unignorable solution to the claret and gold’s coaching puzzle.