Huddersfield Giants are ready to feed off return of fans, says Darnell McIntosh
WINGER Darnell McIntosh says Huddersfield Giants will try to “feed off” the return of fans – as well as the positives from improved recent performances – to kick-start their campaign.
They head to Warrington Wolves next Monday night seeking only a second Super League win of the year.
Like most, it will be the first time they have played in front of supporters in 14 months with up to 4,000 expected to be allowed in at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
After being knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup by St Helens on Friday night – albeit with another encouraging display in the 23-18 loss – Huddersfield are keen to make up lost ground in Super League.
“The main thing going into that Warrington game is having fans back,” said McIntosh, who scored two tries against Saints.
“That’s especially so for the fans themselves.
“We’ve been building these last few weeks, getting in some good performances.
“We got the win against Leeds Rhinos – our first league win – but the performances have been building, too.
“I don’t think Saints have been in as tough a match this season as they were on Friday. It’s a perfect opportunity for us when crowds are back next Monday to feed off that and build again.”
Giants coach Ian Watson intimated after Friday’s loss that he still thinks his side can make a push for the play-offs despite losing five of their opening six Super League games.
Certainly, if they replicate the performance shown against champions Saints, they will win plenty.
Huddersfield-born McIntosh, 23, said: “Obviously it’s still upsetting losing as we did as it’s the Cup: you only get one chance.
“It wasn’t our night. But we went in and felt pretty confident.
“We played Saints two weeks before and I feel we gave them a good run for their money again.”
Indeed, Huddersfield led 12-10 at the break and looked capable of inflicting the league leaders’ first defeat of the season.
He recalled: “At half-time we felt good. The way they celebrated their try in the first half gave us confidence; it made us realise they’d not been in a game this tough yet this year.
“We thought ‘this is it – we can do it.’ But a lack of discipline at the start of the second half drained out the battery and we didn’t have enough field position.
“It left us with too much to do. They are a good side and they ground out the win. Yes, there’s positives to take – but it hurts being out.”
McIntosh showed his quality, though, with a brilliant finish for a well-worked try just before half-time, the first of his brace.
“The skill levels of Ricky Leutele and Kenny Edwards inside me are unreal so I feel really lucky on the edge,” he said.
“They can create something out of nothing. Luckily, I was there to get it down. But I am pleased with my form. I’m just trying to keep my head down.
“Watto’s made my role very simple this year. He’s made me know what I need to do and I just need to do it as well as I can.
“I do feel I’m a lot more clear on that this season and a lot more calmer. It’s just allowed me to go out and play my best rugby.”
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