4th December 2017, 12:29 | Huddersfield
Betfred Super League: 8th
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Sixth Round
Top Scorer: Jermaine McGillvary (16)
It was a season of two halves for Huddersfield Giants; a disastrous start followed by a brilliant finish.
After escaping the Million Pound Game at the end of the 2016 Super 8s in the final week, a run of just two wins inside the opening 11 rounds of Super League seemed to suggest they would be fighting for their Super League lives again.
That was followed up by a huge upset in the Challenge Cup when they were defeated 24-28 by Championship part-timers Swinton Lions at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Quite often a defeat of such can galvanise a side and that is exactly what happened as the following week they went to Headingley and grabbed a 31-12 win with a superb performance.
The week after they ran runaway league leaders Castleford Tigers very close before handing out an 18-10 defeat to Catalans Dragons at Magic Weekend.
The availability of star full-back Jake Mamo who returned from injury in mid-April, also had a huge influence in their upturn in form. He scored 12 tries in nine appearances before suffering another injury in June.
They ended the first phase of the season with just two defeats in eight games, sealing their spot in the Super League Super 8s.
Victories over Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC in the opening rounds of the Super 8s even raised hopes of a play-off finish but four defeats in a row left them eighth in the table.
The Australian was seriously under pressure after the Giants’ struggling start to the season but he and his side managed to turn around their season.
The additions of the likes of Jake Mamo, Jordan Rankin and Jordan Turner should set the side up for a solid 2018 season.
The mighty prop enjoyed the best season of his career and was named in the 2017 Super League Dream Team.
The 26-year-old New Zealander produced 165 tackle busts during the campaign, over 30 more than anyone else in the competition.
After just suffering a humiliating defeat to Championship side Swinton Lions in the Challenge Cup, the Giants came out in this game with all guns blazing.
Tries from Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Jake Mamo, Darnell McIntosh and Oliver Roberts saw them sweep aside their West Yorkshire rivals in front of England football head coach Gareth Southgate.
The 56-12 win at Catalans Dragons was another high point, with Mamo bagging four superb tries.
Not only Huddersfield’s try of the season, but one of the best tries of the whole campaign, this superb team effort saw the ball played through most of the side.
Then with the onrushing defender, McIntosh had to produce a brilliant finish to get the ball down in the corner.