ELEVEN tries in 21 games is a fair return for a winger, but Huddersfield Giants’ Jodie Broughton knows he must improve further after his debut season at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The England Knights international endured mixed fortunes last year after arriving from Salford Red Devils, losing his place to Aaron Murphy and struggling to convince head coach Paul Anderson that he should be a regular starter.
Broughton hopes to get the nod for the new season opener against visiting Hull FC on Sunday, but accepts the challenge will not get any easier.
“I am bedded in here now, but it was a bit disappointing for me last year,” he said.
“I had some injuries and my form wasn’t great at times so I was in and out.
“I couldn’t really get a good string of games together, but hopefully starting on Sunday, if I do get picked for the first game, I can get some momentum going, get my try tally up and playing well again.
“There’s loads of competition for places at Huddersfield now with Aaron Murphy, Jake Connor and, obviously, Jermaine McGillvary so it’s important I play well and do so every week.”
The same can be said of Huddersfield who, despite finishing just a point behind leaders and champions St Helens last term, know they have real improvement in them.
“It’s true with the new league structure that every game counts,” he added.
“You’ve got 12 teams as opposed to 14 and from the teams that went down we played Bradford three times and London twice.
“We won all of those games so we have to find those 10 points from somewhere else now. Every game will be difficult, starting with Hull.”
Hull stumbled in at 11th place last term, but did inflict a hefty 30-6 defeat on Huddersfield at the KC Stadium in April, Broughton scoring their solitary try, before the Giants responded with a 38-28 success in the reverse fixture, the winger crossing twice.
“They’ll be looking to bounce back,” said the 27-year-old.
“They’ve got some great players and have had for years, but sometimes it’s just not clicked.
“I think Lee Radford, being a local lad, there is a lot of passion with him and you can guarantee whichever team comes here will be aggressive and real passionate about winning.
“I’m sure their defence will be strong, too. Hull have always had a good defence and, with the sort of guy Radford is, I think that will show even more this year.
“But we want to be starting with a win ourselves.”