HEADINGLEY IS proving a happy hunting ground for Huddersfield Giants’ young prop Matty English.
The 20-year-old former England Academy forward made his Super League debut when Giants won 31-12 away to Leeds Rhinos in April last year and featured again in a 25-18 victory three days ago.
English said: “I thought the boys all dug deep and we ground out a good victory.
“Leeds is always a tough place to go so to come away with two points is really good.
“All games for us are kind of must-wins if we’re going to stay in the top-eight.
“We were all really disappointed after the Catalans game in the Challenge Cup. We thought we let ourselves down, but to go to Headingley and get two points has kind of put that right.”
Last Friday’s win was Giants’ first under new coach Simon Woolford. They remain eighth in the Betfred Super League table, but are now only two points behind seventh-placed Leeds.
Giants are on a four-game winning run in Super League and English feels Woolford has added his own touch to a team who were already on the up.
“He has been really, really good,” he said.
“All the coaching staff have been class.
All games for us are kind of must-wins if we’re going to stay in the top-eight.
“We have started training better and evidently we’ve started playing better.”
Huddersfield were without veteran half-back Danny Brough against Rhinos, but Oliver Russell proved a classy replacement, kicking four goals and a one-pointer in only his second senior appearance.
“He showed great composure to slot the one,” English said.
“He was outstanding, he showed what he can do. I’ve played in the academy with him and he’s one of the best halves I’ve played with.
“It is early days, but he has got all the skills you need in a good half. Hopefully he’ll have a massive career ahead of him.”
Russell was “over the moon” with his contribution to Giants’ precious success.
He said: “It’s a bit of a dream to play at Headingley and to get a win is surreal.
“Two Super League games, two wins – it’s not bad.”