Huddersfield Giants v Hull KR - Ukuma Ta’ai looking for dream end to career at Giants

Castleford's Mitch Clark is tackled by Huddersfield's Ukuma Ta'ai. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Castleford's Mitch Clark is tackled by Huddersfield's Ukuma Ta'ai. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
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UKUMA TA’AI wants to round off his career at Huddersfield Giants and win a major trophy with them before he does bow out.

The powerful Tonga forward has been a mainstay of the West Yorkshire side for the last seven years having joined from New Zealand Warriors in 2013.

I feel good and I don’t want to move around. I hope we can stay here. That’s my dream. I’d want to stay here. And I want Huddersfield to win something before I do leave.

Huddersfield’s Ukuna Ta’ai

He remains a popular player at the John Smith’s Stadium and – as he gets closer to 200 games for the club – will line up there again when Hull KR arrive this evening.

Ta’ai will be nearing his 34th birthday by the time his current contract runs out at the end of next season.

Asked whether he wants to continue playing after that, he said: “I’ve one last year for now and I’m not sure; we’ll see what happens to the body.

“But I feel good and I don’t want to move around. I hope we can stay here. That’s my dream. I’d want to stay here.

“And I want Huddersfield to win something before I do leave.

“If we don’t do so this year, hopefully we can next.”

Ta’ai, of course, won the League Leaders’ Shield in his first season with Huddersfield when they were regular top-four challengers.

In recent years, they have been nearer the wrong end of the table and were ninth heading into this week’s round.

Simon Woolford’s side have lost their last three games but showed encouraging signs when narrowly missing out in a gutsy effort against leaders St Helens in Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie.

Huddersfield only lost 22-16 and the quality of the performance suggested they could push for the top-five rather than be worrying about a relegation fight.

“We gave it a good go,” admitted Ta’ai, as they prepare to face a Hull KR side who sit second-bottom just two points below.

“Saints respected that, how hard we went. They deserved it at the end but I felt sorry for the boys as it was such a great effort.

“Our preparation was good; we played against Saints before and made a few mistakes but we fixed those and showed we are a better side. Now we are looking forward to getting back into Super League; if we perform again, like we did against Saints, we feel comfortable we could get the two points against Hull KR.”