London v Huddersfield: Giants’ Bailey saddened by situation at troubled London

Chris Bailey of Huddersfield Giants.
Chris Bailey of Huddersfield Giants.
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As understanding as Chris Bailey is of London Broncos’ dire situation, he knows Huddersfield Giants cannot counter becoming the struggling Super League club’s first scalp.

The Australian back-row played 71 games for them during his three years in the capital, scoring 18 tries, before moving north to Calderdale last winter.

Therefore, it hurts him more than anyone witnessing London – who saw head coach Tony Rea leave this week – being embarrassed on a weekly basis and seemingly destined for relegation. They have lost all 12 fixtures played this season, a figure Huddersfield hope to extend to 13 this afternoon when they venture to Barnet.

“It was always going to be tough for them,” Bailey told The Yorkshire Post, he being one of numerous departures as London nearly went bust during the off-season.

“They only came together in January and February and were still getting players in then.

“Before that they only had half a dozen signed so it’s tough starting the season like that and obviously they’re a bit thin on troops.

“It’s a tough period for them but they’ve some really good kids down there and I hope something can happen for them.

“We don’t want that Saturday, of course. There’s always the danger they’ll strike and you can’t take any team lightly but we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure we’re not their first win.”

Huddersfield have their own record to preserve. After a trying start to the season, the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield winners have strung together three successive wins, the last of which was Sunday’s dramatic 29-28 success over Castleford Tigers.

“It was great to get that victory,” admitted Bailey, the 31-year-old, who won the World Club Challenge with Manly against Leeds Rhinos in 2009.

“We’ve been in a few tight ones this year, obviously drawn two of them at home and then just went down to St Helens in the Challenge Cup by a point so it was good to find a way to win that one.

“I think it could be a turning point for us. We’re on a bit of a run now.

“We’re building in confidence. It wasn’t that pretty last week but we found that way to win even when it wasn’t great to watch. That’s what good sides do.

“We’ve plenty to build on but we’re getting there.”

Jake Connor could replace Scott Grix at full-back today in one of the few changes from Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson who has got good value out of Bailey so far, utilising him at hooker and half-back as well as second-row and loose forward this season.

On London’s long-term future, he said: “There’s players down there that have played rugby league pretty much all their junior sport.

“London being in Super League can give people a team to follow and something to aspire to.

“In Mike McMeeken and Kieran Dixon, plus players like Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb who have left, it’s a great nursery down there with that population.

“They just need to be able to build it right and they can get some great athletes coming through.”