14th July 2017


Rick Stone reflects on beating Leigh and securing a top 8 finish

Foster Care

Head Coach Rick Stone gave his thoughts following the 26-4 win over Leigh Centurions which saw the Giants rise to seventh in the Betfred Super League.

Huddersfield Giants ground out an important victory over Leigh Centurions to ensure they would be playing in the Super 8’s this year, something Stone was delighted to achieve:

“It was a tough, competitive game, a pretty physical game to be honest. A bit more physical than what we’ve played in the last couple of weeks. There was some good resilience shown there.

“I think we had most of the run of play for the first half and we had a bit more possession and field position, and the game kind of turned itself around in the second half and we found ourselves defending our own line a little bit more. It was a good, tough win.

“We have probably used 34-35 players and everyone has worked pretty hard, diligently, over a long period of time this year. We’ve had some times where we thought that it’s a long way up from where we were. We stuck at it, we stuck together, and we’ve gradually found a bit of belief and the last ten or twelve weeks have been good.”

The Claret and Gold led 8-0 at the break, and despite rounding the game off in the second half, Stone still felt there was room for improvement:

“I think there was a couple of times our ball-kicking wasn’t at its best. I think we just lacked a little bit of patience and execution in our last plays in the first half, but I thought Danny Brough stayed at it pretty consistently and did a decent job.”

“He was patient, and disciplined more than anything. That sort of led to the second try of the second-half and we just decided we wanted to play tough, defend well, and challenge them through the middle and I thought we did that ok.”

With a trip to Hull FC next week to round off the regular season of the Betfred Super League, the Head Coach knows it is going to be a tough encounter:

“We’ve got next week’s game and then another seven games in front of us. It’s our goal to win as many as we can. We’ve got a few boys to come back from injuries in the next couple of weeks and we’ve got some momentum and belief at the minute, which is nice. We have to dust ourselves off and have a crack again next week. We’ve been in a position where we were in the middle 8’s last year, it wasn’t good and it's nice to have avoided that.”

There have been some low moments this year for the Claret and Gold, but Stone insists that it has taken time to implement his philosophy, and he is starting to see it in action:

“I was always confident we could finish in the top 8. We had a lot of injuries but I was hopeful, and confident, that when we had players from injuries back and got our key players back, that it would help us.”

“We started way back from the Magic Weekend, a rusty win against Catalans there and a couple of weeks before when we played Catalans and Warrington at Easter and we weren’t far away there. But we’re still making things a bit tougher for ourselves, but we respected the possession, maintaining and building pressure a bit more, the boys have bought into that and the last couple of months have been good.”







Heikki Kovalainen





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