Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson not worried despite poor early-season form

Ian Watson cut an upbeat figure after seeing Huddersfield Giants push defending champions St Helens close with a depleted side.

Already without the likes of Theo Fages, Jermaine McGillvary and Matty English, Watson lost Tui Lolohea, Josh Jones and Oliver Wilson in the aftermath of last week's 14-12 home defeat to Wigan Warriors.

The result was identical on Thursday night, leaving the Giants with just two wins to show for their efforts in the opening five games.

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But Watson has seen enough from his team to convince him that Huddersfield will time their run right in 2023 after falling just short in both competitions last season.

"I'm not worried about where we are at the moment," said the Giants boss, who confirmed wingers Leroy Cudjoe and Jake Bibby had been dropped.

"The big thing for me is we've played two of the best teams in the competition by far and we've had 14-12 games which shows you that our defence is better than where it was last year.

"Our attack is still a work in progress but when you've got people like Tui and Jake Connor to come in, it should mean we should get pretty sharp by the back end of the season."

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Connor made his second debut off the bench and played an important role in a late try for Innes Senior, himself making his first appearance of the year.

Ian Watson ahead of Thursday's game. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Ian Watson ahead of Thursday's game. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Ian Watson ahead of Thursday's game. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Watson felt Huddersfield proved their squad depth as they continue to close the gap to the cream of Super League.

"It's small margins," he added. "We're there but not there.

"I was excited on the back of the Wigan game to see where we went again and what our steel was and the level we're at.

"Especially with the changes. Everyone would have looked at the teams and thought we wouldn't compete but we more than competed and are probably unlucky we didn't win the game in the end.

"I'm really proud of what they did as a group. It's the fact we looked quite seamless – we played the shape better today than we have all season."

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