HUDDERSFIELD Giants’ Brett Ferres is hoping to sleep easy tonight with a clear conscience and positive thoughts.
The England second-row concedes he was unable to switch off in the aftermath of a catastrophic 57-4 play-off defeat at Wigan Warriors last week.
Following that ignominy, the West Yorkshire club has the chance of redemption this evening when they host Catalan Dragons in an eliminator that will define their season.
But Ferres told The Yorkshire Post: “It was tough (after Wigan).
“I got home from the game and watched it straight back on Sky.
“I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was thinking all the way home about it and how disappointing we were in every aspect.
“We just weren’t there and – it gets said a lot but it’s true – against a quality side you will get burnt. We certainly did that.
“The review was honest. It wasn’t brutal but a few home truths got said.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we can achieve something special here and didn’t give that game that sort of respect. Luckily, we get another bite now against Catalan.”
That scenario, though, has not always worked out for the Giants.
Admittedly, it did last year when the then League Leaders lost at home to Wigan but followed up by thrashing Hull FC 76-18 to reach the semi-finals where they eventually succumbed to Warrington.
However, in both 2009 and 2011, Huddersfield finished in the top four only to lose twice, Catalan victors at this stage five years ago.
It begs the question whether finishing in the upper quartet is such an advantage – Giants reached the last four from fifth in 2010. Catalan arrive from seventh having stunned Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.
“They will be full of confidence after a good win there, something they’ve never done before,” admitted Ferres.
“Then they get us coming in off a bit of a spanking and expected to win this week but Catalan will be full of beans and we’re on a loss. You can see the argument.
“But you give yourself opportunity to do something special throughout the year and we’ve done all right and got to third to create that bit of a cushion. You don’t think you’ll ever need it as such but we do now and have to crack on.
“I didn’t particularly enjoy the Leeds v Catalan game. I didn’t think it was a great spectacle.
“But they are a big, physical pack and are playing well at the minute. It’s all about us performing, though.”
Captain Danny Brough’s return will bring a new “dimension” to Huddersfield’s play but, regardless, Ferres knows they now must get to Old Trafford after so many near misses.
“It’s time for actions now rather than words,” he said. “We said before Wigan we wanted to go win this (trophy) and then didn’t deliver. There’s no better way than doing it Friday.”