Season Review: Huddersfield Giants
Four wins from five pre-lockdown, including a tense 12-10 win over St Helens, may have given Giants hope for a promising season and maybe a return of the League Leaders’ shield they last won in 2013. New marquee signing Aidan Sezer showed the quality he could bring to team as he guided them around the field in a way the team had been lacking for a couple of years.
However, post-lockdown it wasn’t to be the same story…a run of five straight defeats saw Simon Woolford depart and Luke Robinson given temporary charge.
Robinson’s first 24 hours in charge were anything but straight forward; players stood down through Covid-19 contract tracing, a team to rejuvenate and a game against fellow strugglers Wakefield. However, Robinson managed to instil enough belief in the team in that short time as they went out and registered a convincing 29-6 victory.
Two further victories followed with Robinson looking like he may be able to turn the team’s form around and still make a push for the play-offs but then just in the same way as their season had re-started in August it finished in October, with a run of five straight defeats and a less than expected seventh place finish.
Mid-season signing Chris McQueen added a bit of bite to a sometimes toothless looking Giants team, but too often they were found wanting when it was needed most.
Player of the season
“All Hail Sezer!” was the shout from the Directors box at an otherwise empty John Smith’s Stadium as the mercurial half back collected his own kick through to score against Wakefield in September.
Aidan Sezer seemed to settle in from day one at the Giants, showing his class throughout the season. He scored seven tries, claimed 18 assists and kicked 38 goals.
His talents didn’t go unnoticed by the Man of Steel voting panel either as he consistently hovered around the top of the leaderboard throughout the season, only narrowly missing out to Paul McShane on collecting the big prize in his first Super League season.
A vintage hat-trick performance from Giants stalwart, Jermaine McGillvary helped the team on its way to back-to-back victories following Simon Woolford’s departure.
The performance epitomised the character of the players and the desire to put in a performance for Robinson as he aimed to turn around the teams fortunes mid-season.
A season that promised so much pre-lockdown faded away into another mid-table mediocre finish for the Giants in 2020.
Stability and consistency will be the key for Giants in 2021 and it is hoped incoming Head Coach, Ian Watson, can bring some of what he has achieved at Salford Red Devils in the past couple of seasons.
Already a raft of new faces are lined-up to join Watson in a new look Giants setup for 2021. The likes of Ricky Leutele, Luke Yates and Josh Jones will be a big boost.