No baby blues for Robinson as Giants look to prove critics wrong

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The always cheery Luke Robinson is deeply apologetic about his nine-month-old baby boy Leo.

Huddersfield’s elusive hooker is ready to do an interview but, apparently, the lad’s nappy may need changing.

As we wander through the Colin Bell Suite at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, he tries to offload him, in true rugby league style, to his coach Nathan Brown.

“Fancy changing him boss?” However, the Giants chief is suddenly locked in deep conversation with Leeds Rhinos counterpart Brian McDermott.

“My wife Laura’s very organised at the best of times,” Robinson eventually tells the Yorkshire Post. “She knows – not like myself – about a month in advance when he is going to nursery, when he’s not going there and all that sort of stuff.

“But, unfortunately, this (media event) just happened to fall on the day when he usually gets passed over to nanna – my mum – and she got called into work as well so I’ve brought him here to this with me.”

Fittingly decked out in a blue and white polo shirt, it appears the youngster is well prepared for an afternoon at the home of the new Premier League champions and latest Magic Weekend venue.

“A lot of Laura’s friends – Team Robbo – are actually from Manchester and are City fans,” adds the 27-year-old.

“We’re very rugby oriented in my family so don’t have an allegiance to any football team.

“But they’re forever giving Leo little Man City stuff trying to convert him.

“They were ecstatic a couple of weeks ago when they won the title. Very nervous at one point, though.”

Team Robbo are Robinson’s famous bunch of personal cheerleaders who, with their rich colour and vociferous chants, religiously follow the diminutive player up and down the country.

They will be there tomorrow when title-chasing Huddersfield take on Salford City Reds – one of Robinson’s former clubs – and attempt to avoid a third successive Super League loss.

Last Friday’s defeat against Wigan saw them usurped from pole position and left doubts, once more, about their under-belly in the biggest matches.

“I don’t think we make as big a deal as everyone else,” offers Halifax-raised Robinson.

“Eddie (Hemmings) talks a lot about it on Sky and a lot go on that but from our perspective we know we’ve had a quite decent start to the year.

“We’ve beaten a lot of the top sides – St Helens, Wigan – and gone quite well.

“Obviously, we’d like to beat them in the big games and get some silverware and I suppose until we do that people will always have a question mark over us.”

Those ‘big’ games will arrive later in the year when it comes to a Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington and, of course, the play-offs.

First, though, are Salford who pose their own problems.

The club, where Robinson played for three years before joining Huddersfield in 2008, may be without a win in their last four outings but have a proud history against the West Yorkshire outfit.

“I do have a lot of fond memories of Salford and I’ve a lot of friends still at the club,” he says.

“I want them to do well as the chairman is a great bloke and the Forever Reds fans are really loyal.

“They deserve a little bit of success. I just don’t want it against us.

“Over the last few years – even though we’re generally at opposite ends of the table – they’ve probably won as many games in our meetings as we have. I don’t know what it is they have over us but we’ve got to play well here come Sunday.”

The record proves Robinson’s point; Salford have won five of the previous 10 fixtures, including three since he joined Giants.

However, the main talking about Robinson recently is Brown’s attack on England coach Steve McNamara for not including his dynamic No 9 in the international fold.

More so as Australian-raised but Torquay-born Ian Henderson is in at the Yorkshireman’s expense.

“It’s nice to know your coach believes in you but, from a player perspective, it’s not something I’d like to get involved in,” says Robinson, diplomatically.

“Steve Mac spoke to me last year when I didn’t get picked at the end and he felt injuries probably affected my form a little.

“Obviously, I felt like I did myself justice when I went down to Australia and NZ (2010) and the Exiles game (last June).

“And it’s something I’d love to emulate as playing for your country is the pinnacle of every sportsman’s career.

“But I’ve just got to play well for Huddersfield and hopefully force Steve’s hand.”

And then he’s off, like one of his rapier darts out of dummy-half, Leo safely tucked under his arm.