HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS captain Leroy Cudjoe has vowed his side will finish the season in style despite seeing their top-four hopes ended.
They head to fourth-placed Warrington Wolves tonight for a game they initially envisaged would heap pressure on their closest rivals in the race for the Super League semi-finals. But Huddersfield’s six-game winning run was then surprisingly ended with a poor 42-16 home loss to Wakefield Trinity last Friday, a defeat that now leaves them six points adrift of Warrington.
Good teams respond to disappointments and that’s what we intend to do. We have four games to finish the year on a high and that’s our focus. Everyone is disappointed; every win we gained to close the gap and put pressure on gave us confidence we could break the top-four.Leroy Cudjoe
With just four games remaining, they know the race is effectively lost but Cudjoe insisted: “Good teams respond to disappointments and that’s what we intend to do.
“We have four games to finish the year on a high and that’s our focus. Everyone is disappointed; every win we gained to close the gap and put pressure on gave us confidence we could break the top-four.
“Up until that Wakefield game we were the form side so we didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t. In the end it wasn’t to be.
“We knew it was always going to be hard but it’s more the way we performed in that Wakefield game, especially the last 20 minutes.
“We’ve come a long way the last 12 weeks or so and made some big improvements, so to concede so many tries late on so easily was the biggest disappointment.”
Giants, bottom in May, had won 11 of their previous dozen games and led 16-6 early in the second period against Wakefield before crumbling.
They seek to immediately return to winning ways tonight but Warrington shrugged off their Challenge Cup final loss against Catalans Dragons by vanquishing Hull FC 80-10 last Thursday.
Former England centre Cudjoe said: “Like I said before, good teams do always respond and Warrington certainly did that last week.
“They’re a good side with experienced players who will have been very disappointed in that loss to Catalans.
“I am sure that they will use the cup final defeat at Wembley as a motivation to try and win the Grand Final so we have to head over there preparing to play a very dangerous side.”
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old praised team-mate Ryan Hinchcliffe, the Australian loose forward who announced this week he will retire at the end of the season and return to Melbourne Storm to join their coaching staff.
“It’s been a honour to play alongside Hinchy for the last three years,” said Cudjoe.
“He’s been an important leader for us, had a massive impact on everyone at the club and certainly leaves it in a much better place.
“We all want to have a good end to the year for him as he deserves it; he’s a great professional and good bloke who will be missed.”