Written by Zack Wilson
Photo by REX Features
Huddersfield Giants showed at Magic Weekend that they are a team that everyone needs to be taking note of, as the Super League season enters its second half.
Simon Woolford’s side thrashed Hull FC 55-2, with seven different players scoring tries.
The Giants stormed into a 20-0 lead, after just half an hour or so of the game, sweeping the Airlie Birds aside with the precision and power of their attacking play.
Some of the attacking play on display on Saturday was outstanding, and the footwork and skills and show from the Giants were really entertaining.
The side also seems to have a real sense of purpose and togetherness, qualities that have looked absent at times over the last couple of seasons.
One player in particular who seems to have found a new lease of life is Lee Gaskell.
The towering stand-off began his career at St Helens being lionised as one of a new generation of great British halfbacks.
He and Jonny Lomax were seen as the future of the England rugby league team’s pivots.
Both players have had careers that have stuttered a little at times, but particularly Gaskell, who seems to have drifted around clubs without ever really making his mark.
Now his abundant talent looks to have found a proper outlet at last. Against Hull at Anfield, the former St Helens man looked to be a player of maturity and judgement.
Oliver Russell also played his part as Gaskell’s partner in the halves. His partnership with Gaskell looks to be one that could become a key part of the Giants for years to come.
Joe Wardle seems to have rediscovered his sense of purpose again after a few years where the former Scotland international has struggled to make an impact.
Kruise Leeming provides genuine threat from hooker with his liveliness and speed from dummyhalf.
The likes of Jermaine McGillvary also look to be finding some good form again, something which will please Great Britain fans, with a big tour coming up at the end of the season.
The Giants have been a team that has often operated under the radar of many media commentators in recent seasons.
But the days of mediocrity could be behind the West Yorkshire club now. It will be interesting to see what effect they can exert on the top five in the rest of 2019.