Huddersfield Giants stars bullish ahead of attempted bounce-back in ’24

 | January 17 | 

5 mins read

Ashton Golding Huddersfield Giants 2023

In 2023 there was an expectation that Huddersfield Giants would ruffle the feathers of some of the very best teams in the Betfred Super League, but the reality was very different. Ian Watson’s side struggled throughout the campaign and were a long way from the running come the end of the season, finishing six points off the play-off pace in ninth.

Against that sort of backdrop some squads might be reticent to big themselves up ahead of the following campaign, but the Giants players are bullish about their chances of returning to the heights which saw them reach the Betfred Challenge Cup final and the Super League eliminators in 2022. 

Huddersfield Giants odds

  • To finish in the top six - 6/4
  • To win the Grand Final - 18/1

Chief among those talking up a return to contention is new Australian playmaker Adam Clune, the former Newcastle Knights half-back telling Betfred that titles are front and centre in his mind.

“Any time you play sport, you want to win as much as you can and be successful, and for me the one goal is always to win a premiership, wherever you’re playing,” says the 28-year-old. “I feel like we have the squad here, and it’s easy to sit here and say it – it’s a long way away – but you want to be part of squads that want to achieve that, and I think this group definitely has the potential to do that.

“The coaching staff have really high standards, and the players drive those standards as well. Hopefully we can put it all together on the field this year, and there’s a lot of work to be done prior to play-offs and stuff like that but it’s really exciting that that’s where we’re looking as a team and a club.”

Huddersfield Giants Top 6 in Betfred Super League at 6/4

Clune is taking his first steps in Super League having made 47 first-grade appearances down under for the St George-Illawarra Dragons and Adam O’Brien’s rapidly-improving Knights. And he says there were lots of considered conversations behind his 11,000-mile relocation.

“I wouldn’t say it was an easy decision to come over the other side of the world and play footy, I had opportunities back in the NRL which were enticing,” he explains. “But for me and my wife at this time of our lives we thought it was a good opportunity, and after a few chats with Watto and speaking a little bit with Luke Yates it was enticing to come over here.

“The way Watto spoke about footy and how he wants to play, and Yatesie spoke highly of the group and the coaching staff, so once I made my mind up that I was going to sign for Huddersfield it was a decision I was really happy with.”

Utility star Ashton Golding is delighted to see the likes of Clune, Jack Murchie, Thomas Deacon and Adam Swift joining the Giants’ existing squad, insisting that whatever happened last year the club’s decision makers are still going about things in the very best way.

“There’s been a lot of due diligence gone into bringing them players into our group,” Golding tells Betfred. “First and foremost, we only bring good people into our group and straight off the bat everyone who’s been brought in is an unbelievable person first. Secondly, we’ve brought in some absolutely outstanding players, so that helps as well. Rugby league needs talent, and the people we’ve brought in have definitely got talent in abundance.

“While we might not have been sitting pretty last year at the top of the league, I’m fairly confident we’ve got some of the best people working in the game within our organisation. I’m quietly confident about the people we’ve brought in, I’m definitely confident about the people we’ve still got in this group, and I’m very excited for what we can achieve this year.”

Much of the Giants’ ambitions on the field might depend on the dynamic between Clune, Tongan half-back Tui Lolohea and full-back Jake Connor. And Connor believes 2024 will be a year in which he will be back to his best following a stop-start 2023.

“Last year wasn’t the best for me, I was coming off the back of two big injuries and probably came back a little bit too early and paid the price for the rest of the season,” says the former Hull FC utility back. “I was just starting to find my feet at the back end of the season, so hopefully I’ve worked hard enough this year and got my injuries right and got a bit fitter.”

And he too is buoyed by the impact of the new signings.

“We’ve created a culture where everyone just fits in, and it’s going well. They’ve added to us on and off the field so I’m excited to see what they bring.”

Huddersfield visit the Betfred Challenge Cup holders, the Leigh Leopards, in their opening fixture of the new Super League season on Friday, Feburary 16 (20:00 GMT).

Huddersfield Giants to win Super League at 18/1

You can read all our latest Rugby League News and Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights rugby league content hub.

Share Article

(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)