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Phil Clarke: Huddersfield have gone from the bottom to the top

Phil Clarke Posted 4th September 2013 view comments

Since the turn of the century I've visited the home of the Huddersfield Giants on many occasions.

Sometimes it's been to watch a cup semi-final, when the Giants have simply been the hosts and watched from the sidelines as one of the teams has progressed to the cup final.

On most occasions it's been for a one-sided league game when the home team have lost more often than not. The Bradford Bulls once destroyed them by 60-2 back in April 2000. How fitting is it then that they travel to Bradford this Saturday as the holders of the League Leaders Shield.

Huddersfield Giants: the League Winners Shield is theirs!

Huddersfield Giants: the League Winners Shield is theirs!

Over the last three seasons it's been clear that the Giants have built a strong squad. They might not have many of the best individuals in Super League but this year they've been the best team. It's taken many years of hard work perseverance and effort which makes this achievement.

Congratulations to everyone who has been a part of their journey from the bottom to the top.

Over the last three seasons it's been clear that the Giants have built a strong squad. They might not have many of the best individuals in Super League but this year they've been the best team. It's taken many years of hard work perseverance and effort which makes this achievement.

Phil Clarke
Quotes of the week

I once noticed when looking through some notes prior to a Huddersfield game that their record defeat was in a Yorkshire Cup match against Castleford in 1988.

They lost that day by 94-12. If any of the Giants fans from today attended that match I'd love to meet you. Please get in touch, your stories over the last 25 years would be fascinating.

Were you at the 1988 game that saw Huddersfield lose by a massive 82 points? Get in touch by emailing us at bootsnall@bskyb.com or use the feedback form below...

If any of you saw the game last Friday between St Helens and Warrington you may have noticed an incident when Jonny Lomax was tackled in the air after the ball had bounced high and he'd leapt to gather it.

At the time I asked our expert on the rules, Stuart Cummings, if it should have been a penalty as I assumed that you can't tackle a man in the air. He corrected me by pointing out that this only applies if the ball hasn't touched the ground.

As I drove home after the match I began to ponder the logic of this. I guess that the rule was initially brought in for player safety. Tackling a man in the air can be extremely dangerous and the sport has outlawed this to protect the player.

If the ball bounces high after a kick, as it will on hard ground, the defender may choose to jump to re-gather this before any on-rushing attacking. Does he deserve the same level of protection?

As we get to the end of the season, I think that it's a good time to ask your opinion on the current rules. Many of them are outdated, and several not enforced.

Wrestling

Do you think that we should make each player touch the ball with his foot when he plays the ball? This would be a more natural way of slowing down the natural speed and perhaps remove the ugly wrestling that sometimes spoils a match.

What's your opinion on the 'team warning'? Do you think that the increased use of the sin bin has reduced the interference at the play-the-ball area? (It's the number one cause of penalties in rugby league?)

Would you like to see the defending team from a scrum be forced back 10m, not the current 5m, to give the attacking team more time and space to attack? Should the loose forward be able to hold the ball at the base of the scrum like they can in rugby union to keep the defenders on their heels?

Should we remove the 'differential penalty' and allow all penalties to be kicked at goal for two points?

Please let me know what rules annoy you or prevent the game being better to watch. After watching the Challenge Cup Final, I think that there's room for improvement. What do you think?

Comments (6)

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Ian Silver says...

I hate the 'On report' If a player commits an offence he should be binned or sent off .Perhaps if all clubs were made to have cameras installed and more responsibility given to the video ref there would be no need for what I and lots of other fans believe is just a referees cop out.

Posted 18:19 8th September 2013

Daz Eastwood says...

I wasn't at that game as i think it was a night match and i had school the next morning but it was that era when myself, my brother and a friend used to go to Fartown and sweep the terraces, clean the dressing rooms, sell programmes, operate the turnstiles, ballboy, etc we would probably had got a game if we were old enough such was the state of the club back then. I could only dream of playing teams we now beat regularly let alone top the whole Rugby League...just proves that if you wait long enough dreams do come true !!

Posted 12:41 5th September 2013

Stephen Brown says...

Hi Phil. The most annoying rule issue for me is policing the normal ten metre rule. Unfortunately I don't get to watch as many games as I'd like, but it often seems the ten metres are not enforced and that gives a massive advantage to the defending team. With two linesmen maintaining the line and the ref with his eye on the play the ball I think this could improve things a lot. Be super strict with it and allow the attacking team to have as much chance as possible. The only other thing that sometimes puzzles is whether it is a knock on, or not - didn't they try one year to say any 'fumble' counts as a knock on? Or was that something one of you suggested in the commentary box? Anyway, great game, congrats to Huddersfield and come on the Wire!

Posted 12:24 5th September 2013

Matthew Summersgill says...

I strongly believe the best way to sort the play of the ball issue is before awarding a try the video ref checks the immediate previous play of the ball. If the ball was not played correctly, the try is not awarded. Simple as that! it would cure every single play of the ball, as the tackled player has no idea if the team will score on the next play wherever they are on the field. As we all know most teams have scored a wonder try, a full length effort or has benefited from a blunder in defence that wasn¿t expected.

Posted 09:56 5th September 2013

Don Elwell says...

In changing the rules, I think that we can learn a lot from other sports like Ice Hockey. I think that we need to enforce the rules of the game and not use the Referee to balance the game! First of all lets get the Referees back to making a decision on the pitch and get rid 'putting incidents on report', which is just an excuse for not making a decision. The Match Review Panel reviews every game and acts appropriately. Why can't we regulate/minimise the use of video referrals by introducing a Decision Review System. Encourage the Referee to make decisions and the Captain or Coach of each team has two chances in each game to challenge a Referee's decision by referring it to the DRS Official (Video Ref) to see if there is clear evidence that the decision was wrong. Any doubt and the original decision stands. If the Referee has any doubts he should make a decision and then seek a review. Can we please get rid of the Team Warning? Rigid enforcement of the rules should make it unnecessary. If things have got to that stage then the Referee has already lost control. In regard to ineffective rules can we get rid of the scrum?...it doesn't add anything and can be replaced with a simple play of the ball (as at a zero tackle).

Posted 14:02 4th September 2013

Daz Eastwood says...

I wasn't at that game mentioned as it was school next day for me, but that was the era when me and my brother and friends used to go along to Fartown on matchdays as kids and sweep the terraces, clean the dressing rooms, sell programmes, operate turnstiles etc etc - we would probably have got a game too if we were old enough such was the state of the club back then. I could only dream about seeing us playing teams we now beat on a regular basis and certainly never imagined we'd finish top of the whole Rugby League ! Sunday proved that if you wait long enough dreams can come true !!

Posted 13:43 4th September 2013

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