Huddersfield Giants shaping up well for play-offs, says Grix

Huddersfield Giants full-back Scott Grix believes Friday’s epic win over Wigan Warriors was the perfect preparation for what they promise will come in the play-offs.

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The Ireland star was hugely influential as the Super League frontrunners produced a 30-12 victory against second-placed Wigan at DW Stadium.

With just three regular games remaining, it now puts the West Yorkshire club in prime position to take the League Leaders’ Shield and finish top for the first time since 1932.

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But Grix says more important than that was how the absorbing 80 minutes readied them for the play-off challenges that lie ahead next month.

“I really enjoyed it,” he told the Yorkshire Post.

“It’s a great stadium and great crowd at Wigan but I just thought it was good practice for later on down the line.

“It was pretty intense at times. The start was real quick. I was shaking a bit at half-time.

“I was pretty shattered and didn’t get my second wind until quite late on so that first half must have been fast.

“I’m sure it was good to watch but we managed to come out on top in the majority of the big moments and that bodes well for later.”

Of course, Huddersfield have struggled to apply themselves in the play-offs before but – given the manner of their recent performances – they seem intent on reaching a maiden Grand Final this time around.

They swept aside Wigan after being level 12-12 at the break and Grix said: “We got a few 50-50s but in the first half we stopped playing a bit when we got tired.

“We shut up shop a little. In the second period, though, when we got jaded we just kept on playing and ended up getting us out of trouble at times. It really was good practice for later on.”

Huddersfield are at lowly London on Saturday with Warrington Wolves now their nearest challengees just a point behind them.

“There’s a lot of stuff to go between now and then (play-offs) but coming up to this period it’s definitely good to have that Wigan performance in the bank,” continued Grix, who scored the clinching try and was an attacking force as well as defensively sound.

“Before Friday’s game there was a lot of chatter between Huddersfield and Wigan for first but we’re in a good position now and want to go on and win it.

“Warrington are still there don’t forget and we’ve got to keep the foot on the pedal when we go down to London.”

Grix, 29, earned man of the match with a performance that reminded many of his class.

He has suffered some poor individual displays this season but was clearly back to his best.

“I was quite happy how I started the year but I have probably stuttered for the last month,” he conceded. “I’m happy I’ve done that and put in a solid performance against a better team like Wigan though and now we all have to push on.”

As for Giants coach Paul Anderson, he has promised there will be no slackening off.

Anderson said: “We have put ourselves in a position now where we can achieve something, but we are also in a position where teams can come and knock us over.

“All we have done all year is focus week in, week out. We will enjoy tonight, have a good weekend off but then regroup Monday and put all our attention into London Broncos.

“We haven’t won anything yet. We have got to keep winning week by week. We won’t get ahead of ourselves.”

The sides were evenly matched in the first half with the Giants responding to tries from Sam Powell and Josh Charnley – his 39th of the season – through Aaron Murphy and Jason Chan.

The visitors pulled away after the break with further scores from Brett Ferres, Scott Grix and Murphy.

Anderson said: “All the things we did defensively and offensively were what we spoke about.

“We have still got some chinks to get out of our system but it was a victory for our attention because we did what we practised.”

The game ended scrappily after a scuffle sparked by an Epalahame Lauaki shoulder charge on Giants hooker Shaun Lunt. Anderson was furious and believes Lauaki should face a ban similar to Catalan Dragons forward Zeb Taia, who was suspended for three games this week for another shoulder offence.

Anderson said: “It’s exactly the same except Shaun Lunt got up. It is a late shot on a ball-player.

“I felt the officials should have dealt with that differently.

“In my eyes that is a three-match ban, and the Catalan chairman will probably agree with me.”

A ban of that length would rule Lauaki out of the Challenge Cup final in a fortnight but Wigan coach Shaun Wane did not want to think about that.

He said: “That doesn’t worry me but if I find out his technique is poor I will be into him about it. I will see what the disciplinary say about it.”

Wane insisted reaching the cup final was not a distraction.

He said: “Going to Wembley has not taken our eye off the ball.

“We were not that far off today, it is not a crisis.”