Following Rick Stone’s sacking as Huddersfield boss last Tuesday, former Giants, Hull FC and Parramatta playmaker Chris Thorman was installed as both interim manager and as Betfred’s favourite for the job on a full time basis.
His first match was one of the most difficult he could have faced as Leeds Rhinos made the short journey to their West Yorkshire neighbours after a dominant sixty minutes against Castleford. In addition to that, the hosts had struggled to just two wins in their opening seven games with a porous defence and rather blunt attack. That, however, changed on both counts on Good Friday as they held Leeds to a 22-22 draw – and were minutes away from an eye-opening victory.
While the Giants weren’t dominant at any real point after the first twenty minutes – at which point they held a 12-0 lead – they were composed in attack and shows great strength of character to stay in the game when Leeds threatened to take control early in the second half. Indeed, Huddersfield showed a clinical edge as they seemed to get points on the board whenever the opportunity presented itself. Thorman’s men, suitably directed by Danny Brough’s boot, set the early pace and didn’t let Leeds settle into the game and their defence was admirably tough. When the Rhinos crossed for two early second half tries through Ryan Hall and Ash Handley, the Giants of early season may well have folded and allow the floodgates to open but they didn’t.
It was an admirable performance from the Giants in Thorman’s maiden game as head coach against formidable opposition. If they were to leave Catalans on Easter Monday with two points in their back pocket, we could well see the former Giants half-back get the top job.