Leroy Cudjoe confident Huddersfield Giants will bounce back

ACTING-CAPTAIN Leroy Cudjoe admits life is currently “tough” at Huddersfield Giants but he has confidence they will soon return to winning ways.

Leroy Cudjoe: Confident. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Leroy Cudjoe: Confident. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

They host Hull FC on Thursday bidding to avoid a seventh successive Super League defeat.

Injury-hit Huddersfield lost 14-12 at home to Wigan Warriors on Friday – just five days after falling 16-12 against the same opponents at DW Stadium.

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Cudjoe, leading the side with captain Aidan Sezer and vice-captain Michael Lawrence both sidelined, admitted: “It is tough.

“We seem to be changing the team every week through injuries and things which doesn’t help; losing your spine for large parts of the year would hurt any team.

“But in the last few weeks, especially the games against Wigan and Hull FC, the boys have worked hard for each other.

“They are putting in a lot of effort and if we keep bringing that effort collectively I’m confident we will get some wins.”

With Sezer, Jack Cogger and Lee Gaskell all injured, Giants coach Ian Watson has pitted Olly Russell, 22, and Will Pryce, 18 together as his halves.

Pryce scored his first senior try on Friday, offering another glimpse of his exciting skills having debuted earlier this month. Ex-England centre Cudjoe, 33, said: “I am really pleased for Will.

“He scored a well -deserved try on what was also his first start.

“He’s a talented kid who will keep improving week on week.

“Will’s very confident and backs himself which is what you want from a young half; good things happen around him.

“And Russ is growing with every game he plays.

“He’s been given the responsibility of leading this team around at a very young age which isn’t easy.

“Bringing in an experienced hooker in Nathan Peats has helped Russ, too.

“Your spine players are very important to any team and we’d lost them all which is tough going. But the lads who have come in are improving every week doing a good job.”

With regular hooker Adam O’Brien also suffering a long-term injury, former New South Wales State of Origin representative Peats has certainly brought some crucial direction and experience in such a pivotal position.

The defeat against Wigan was just his second game for the club and he will look to get his first Giants win when Hull arrive later this week.

They will hope the Airlie Birds will be rusty; they have not played for almost a month due to a Covid outbreak at planned opponents Salford Red Devils and then in their own camp, too.

Indeed, their last outing was a 17-10 success against Huddersfield at KCOM Stadium.

“Against Hull we need to bring the same energy and effort in our defence that we have the past few weeks,” said Cudjoe.

“We can improve what we do with the ball, ask some more questions and execute when we get the opportunities.

“Hull are a good side who have been playing consistent rugby this year.

“It will be another tough game but one I’m looking forward to.”

Cudjoe - captain of his home-town club for three years until Australian Sezer’s arrival last term - has gladly resumed the leadership role during their injury crisis.

“It’s always an honour to lead the boys out,” he said.

“I take a lot of pride in that, just as I do putting on the shirt.

“We’re doing it tough at the minute but we’ll stick together and I’ll try lead with my actions on and off the field.”