The Liam Farrell column: Giants will test whether we've fixed our defence

If ever there was a team to test what we did wrong last week, it's Huddersfield.

Thursday, 10th August 2017, 11:47 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:46 pm
Thomas Leuluai tries to find a way through the Leeds defence

They’re dark-horses of the Super-8s and they’ve been causing teams a lot of trouble for several weeks.

We’ve drawn with them twice this year, so we know what we’re up against.

They have some strong ball-carriers, with the likes of Leroy Cudjoe, Jermaine McGillvary, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Sam Rapira.

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We need to control them because, if we don’t, we’ll be really up against it – like we were at Leeds.

It was good to get back on the pitch last Friday, but to say we were off our game would be an understatement.

For me, it was one of the worst performances of the year.

Going to Leeds is always tough, and if we’d gone there and played well and lost by six points, I could have taken it on the chin and said: ‘Fair play to Leeds’.

But we didn’t.

With the ball, we did some okay things, but defensively we weren’t there.

You can accept being scratchy in attack at times.

But in defence, a lot of it is down to getting your body in front – it doesn’t really take a lot of skill.

Our problems in defence weren’t down to people jumping out of our system, it was down to attitude. And that’s what was so disappointing.

Why did it happen? I don’t know.

We had the personnel to do a job, and I wouldn’t like to say it was a hangover from the Challenge Cup semi-final.

We realised how important the game was, in keeping alive our top-four hopes. It was up there with the semi-final in the importance stakes.

We’re chasing fourth spot, where Saints are, and now it’s a case of trying to win our remaining games AND hoping other teams can do us a favour.

In that sense, we’re in an unfamiliar position, and I can’t say I’m too comfortable with it. As players, we focus on what we can control, and we’ll continue to do that and hope – at the end – it’s enough to get a top-four spot.

If it isn’t enough, we’ve only ourselves to blame.

There’s still six games in the league to do, and if we get two points this weekend, and the week after, and go to Wembley maybe two points adrift of the top four, then it changes the complexion completely. But to win against Huddersfield, we need to perform much better than we did last week.

The day after our game, Dom Manfredi is expected to make his return to the pitch in the reserves.

I’ve been training with him for the last four weeks while I’ve been out, and it’s great to see him back.

He’s pretty devastating when he’s got the ball in hand and, if he can get back firing, it’ll only help our team.

Friday’s game came two days after I became a dad!

My wife Laura gave birth to Arthur last Wednesday, and they’re both doing great.

I couldn’t be happier, I love being a dad – though I’m trying to catch up on some much-needed sleep!