31 Mar 2020

Early season report: Huddersfield Giants

The lowdown on Huddersfield Giants after their impressive start to the 2020 Super League season.

After a 2019 to forget, where they were in a relegation battle until the final round of the season, Huddersfield Giants look to be a team on the rise again.

Four wins from their opening five matches have transformed expectations for the Cowbell Army.

For the first time in a few years, Huddersfield look set for a battle at the top of Super League, rather than the bottom. 

Their early season success has come as a surprise to many, but the Giants look to have developed a strong ethos, built particularly on their defensive work.

They have only conceded 78 points – 42 of those came in one match against Wigan.

That defeat to the Warriors a blip in an otherwise impressive opening two months of the campaign. 

The signs are positive for Huddersfield fans – many of whom will be excited to see what their team is capable of when they are back out on the pitch.

Story so far

(32-12) v Catalans Dragons

(12-10) v Salford Red Devils

(22-4) v Hull KR

(42-10) v Wigan Warriors

(12-10) v St Helens 

Position: 5th

Points: 8

Best player

Aidan Sezer arrived in Super League with a fearsome reputation and has lived up to all the hype surrounding him in the early stages of the season. The former Canberra Raider sits joint-second in the Man of Steel standings and is a real contender for the award once Super League returns. 

Most impressive new signing

Well, if Sezer has been Huddersfield’s best player, then he is certainly their most impressive signing. The Australian has registered six assists, and he also boasts a fantastic kicking game. The 28-year-old was handed the captaincy reigns before the season opener against Catalans, a role he has thrived in thus far.  

Outstanding performance 

It does not get much better than winning at the home of the defending champions. St Helens had not lost at the Totally Wicked Stadium since 2018, but the Giants broke their long unbeaten run with a resolute defensive display. Simon Woolford’s side also showed their clinical edge in attack. A victory that would have made the rest of Super League stand up and take notice. 

Low point

The Giants’ only defeat came against Wigan Warriors at the John Smith’s Stadium, and the result served as a reality check after three successive wins to start the season. They led the game 10-4 approaching half-time but fell apart when Sezer was given a yellow card. Wigan scored four tries during his sin-binning period, and they eventually went on to record a comfortable 42-10 victory.

What’s to come?

Confidence will be high around around the club when rugby league resumes. Huddersfield have not reached the play-offs since 2015, but there is every chance they could do so in 2020, having shown they have a squad capable of beating the best teams. Success in Super League remains their sole chance of silverware, after losing to Toronto Wolfpack in the Challenge Cup.

Grade: A

By Oli Lathrope