A Giant leap but rookie coach Luke Robinson deserves his chance at Huddersfield - Dave Craven

WHEN the Huddersfield Giants hierarchy begin to sift through the various applicants for their head coach role, hopefully they will look closer to home, too.

Huddersfield's Luke Robinson takes charge of the first team. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Obviously, not too much can be read into Thursday’s win over Wakefield Trinity, when assistant coach Luke Robinson took interim charge barely 24 hours after Simon Woolford’s sudden exit.

It is often the case that a team enjoys that instant injection of positivity when a new man comes in to take over and regularly it results in that all-important win.

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In this case, too, Huddersfield were facing an utterly abject Wakefield side whose own coach Chris Chester was left accusing certain players of deliberately avoiding tackles: never a good look. Nevertheless, Ken Davy, the Giants benevolent owner, and managing director Richard Thewlis must already surely be thinking how it would be beneficial to give Robinson the role on a permanent basis.

Admittedly, having just recently enjoyed his 36th birthday, he is still a relative novice in terms of coaching at this level. However, the former England scrum-half, who spent the majority of his excellent career playing in claret and gold, is highly-regarded by both players and coaches alike.

Knowledgeable, articulate and with a clear idea of how he wants the game to be played, plus an obvious drive to be a head coach (Robinson said he “knows” he is a good coach directly after Thursday’s win), he has plenty of the right attributes.

He knows the Giants set-up inside-out, holds the respect of the players and has already helped nurture many of the promising youngsters that Woolford – to his credit – blooded so well since coming into the job in April 2018.

Against Trinity, young forward Owen Trout excelled, showing wonderful footwork, while Reiss Butterworth and Oliver Wilson also demonstrated what promising talent is at their disposal.

Woolford had finally shaped the squad how he wanted, getting rid of many players he inherited, to leave them looking as impressive as they have ever been since Paul Anderson’s days.

If Huddersfield did go down the road of looking to the NRL for a coach, invariably, that person would come in and want to reshape again; you would imagine Robinson would simply work with those he had and make them better still. Let’s face it, they are not far off: for all the club had not offered Woolford a new contract for 2021, they had won four of their opening five Super League games before lockdown and since the sport resumed last month three of their five defeats had been by just one solitary point.

The Australian has clearly made great strides given he took over with the club bottom of Super League and the groundwork has been laid for someone.

London Broncos’ Danny Ward would be an obvious name that will be thrown into the mix and few could argue with that.

If Toronto Wolfpack don’t get their reprieve next week, Brian McDermott would also be someone you feel could help hone them further.

But the effusive Robinson deserves the chance to prove his worth first. Granted, stepping up from a No 2 to the top job is not always simple; the relationships he has with his players, for one, will change over night.

But the last time it happened, when Anderson replaced the revolutionary Nathan Brown, Giants finished top the following season for the first time in 81 years.

Huddersfield could be on the brink of something great. The next appointment has to be the right one.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson

Editor