Huddersfield Giants ‘need to be smarter’ – Ian Watson

DISAPPOINTED Huddersfield Giants coach Ian Watson has urged for more consistent resilience from his side after they suffered their first defeat of the Betfred Super League season.

Huddersfield Giants' Ashton Golding (left) is tackled by Wigan Warriors' John Bateman. Picture: PA
Huddersfield Giants' Ashton Golding (left) is tackled by Wigan Warriors' John Bateman. Picture: PA

The Fartowners lost 22-12 at Wigan Warriors on Thursday having never fully recovered from a slow start where they conceded three tries inside just 22 minutes.

“We competed well for large parts,” said Watson, whose side will look to react when they host Salford Red Devils next Sunday.

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“We just didn’t show enough resilience in the first half.

“Our goalline defence just wasn’t there at the start of the game for those first two tries.

“And then we conceded another try the next time they came down so we were on the back foot.

“We worked really hard to get ourselves back in the game and gave ourselves a shot but then we bombed a couple of opportunities where we knocked a couple on over the tryline.

“We get them and we give Wigan a real game.”

Tui Lolohea and Chris McQueen scored Huddersfield’s tries and Watson admitted: “There’s lots of positives around it. The boys worked really hard; we just need to be smarter as it’s small margins when you play against your top-end table teams.

“That’s where we want to be so we need to learn how to win coming to places like Wigan.

“In the second half, Tui pulled off a great tackle on Liam Farrell as he’s going over the tryline. That desire we have to have at the start of the game. If we do, it’s a lot closer. It’s up to us to improve.”

Will Pryce, the youngster who has been linked with a move to NRL side Newcastle Knights in 2023, did make his first appearance of the season at stand-off with Theo Fages suspended.

The teenager, who enjoyed his breakthrough season last year, struggled to make much impact against Wigan.

But Watson said: “He’s a young lad and he’s learning. He missed a lot of pre-season because of the injury with England (Knights) and then he got stood down because of an isolation case as well.

“So where you would have liked a young lad to get a lot done in pre-season and get the volume in his legs, he’s not had opportunity

“We’ve been trying to build him to the right time to drop him in. Theo being unavailable gave him that.

“I still thought it was probably still a little early for him but Prycey was ready to take the opportunity when it was presented to him and I think he did OK.

“He was a little rusty at the start but you’d expect that from not having as much time with the actual team.”