The Liam Farrell Column: Giants test is ideal

Liam Farrell in action against Catalans
Liam Farrell in action against Catalans

THIS game at Huddersfield is a great fixture for us - especially with the World Club Series the following week.

We’re away from home and Huddersfield have a massive pack, so we’re going to have to be on our game against them.

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We have had some great games at Huddersfield and they are a tough team to beat, but we’ve had some good results against them and hopefully that continues.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they talk about the key players they have missing but our focus all week has been on the key players they have in their side.

There’s no danger of us under-estimating them. Not at all.

It’s also only our second game and everyone is still enthusiastic, everyone is keen to impress.

We got the win on the opening night but the weather and the pitch made it hard for both teams.

I think we played the conditions a lot better than Catalans did.

In the first 20 or 30 minutes, they will probable say themselves they were pretty poor with the ball, and it took some of the gas out of them.

I spoke to Pat Richards afterwards – how good was it having him back at the DW? – and he said the weather over in the south of France for the past six weeks has been warm and dry, so they weren’t used to those conditions. To that extent, it definitely worked in our benefit playing them at this stage of the season.

On a dry track I’m sure they’ll post some points, with the team they have.

We were pleased to come away with the two points.

We were smart, we defended well and we were aggressive in the middle.

Sean O’Loughlin started at prop but his role didn’t change; the one who was affected the most was John Bateman, who moved from the edge to the middle.

Some people may think we lose some size but we gained mobility, and they’re both good defenders and very skilful players.

And with John playing at No.13, it allowed Willie Isa to start at second-row.

I thought he had a great debut – he’s been under the radar a bit in the last few years, but in my opinion, he’s going to be one of the best signings we’ve made for a few years.

IT’S always sad to see a player retire due to injury.

Luke Robinson has been a terrific player in Super League for many years.

I didn’t know him that well, but a few of the lads here do, and they speak highly of him as a bloke.

I wish him all the best for the future.

IT was great to get Super League back underway.

It’s been a long pre-season, even for the England players who came in late, and we’re all glad to be up and running again.

I sat down to watch Leeds-Warrington on Thursday night and really enjoyed it.

Shaun Wane says coaching has taken the enjoyment out of games for him, because he scrutinises games, but I can still sit down at enjoy a good game.

I WATCHED some of the NRL Nines last weekend.

It was great to see Joe Burgess score a try for the Sydney Roosters, and see Mango (Matty Bowen) making a final farewell for the Cowboys.

It looked like a really enjoyable tournament and, if ever the World Club Series is taken Down Under, it’d be great if the Super League clubs could play in the Nines before it the week before.

What an experience that would be.

ON a personal level I’m excited about the possibility of working with Wayne Bennett.

He has a great record and is arguably the best coach of the last two decades - I can see why England moved for him. I see he’s planning to appoint an English assistant coach, with an eye to succeeding him, which I think is a smart move.

At the same time, I’ve got a lot to thank former national coach Steve McNamara for.

He gave me my debut and he deserves huge praise for what he’s done.

Everyone in the squad gets on - he really developed the ‘two team’ mentality - and I feel he has left England in a really good position.