Huddersfield Giants were one of the outstanding performers at Magic Weekend this year, producing a professional and efficient display to see off Bradford Bulls 42-6. Bradford are no mugs this season, and that result showed just how good this no-frills Giants outfit has become.
Paul Anderson has assembled a well-drilled, tough pack which goes about its work in an unspectacular but brutally efficient way.
There is a focus on traditional rugby league football, with forwards running hard through the line to create space for some genuinely electrifying backs.
Opposition teams know that if the ball reaches the likes of Leroy Cudjoe and Jermaine McGillvary then they are going to have problems stopping them.
Anderson has also used the loan system astutely, with Dale Ferguson being sent out to Hull KR on loan earlier in the campaign, and returning a much sharper and fitter player.
Danny Brough is producing some of the best football of his career, something which will probably be to Scotland rather than England’s gain at the World Cup in the autumn. Luke Robinson has been an underrated performer for years, and has surely got to be worth a shout for England in a national team short of genuine class at halfback.
Another player who, like Brough, is eligible for Scotland, is Shaun Lunt, and if England are silly enough not to pick him, then he should surely consider brightening up the World Cup by turning out for the Bravehearts. He has provided some genuine inspiration for the team from halfback.
Eorl Crabtree has long been a player with potential, but he seems to have moved up another level this season, becoming more aggressive and more effective as a result. At times, the big man has almost been unplayable this campaign.
Huddersfield are good enough on the park to win the Grand Final this season. What we do not know yet is whether they have the mentality, the spirit and the ‘bottle’ to cope with play-off rugby. Certainly, in their coach they have a man who does.
It will be great fun for neutrals seeing if his players do too. And this season, they just might. Claret and gold ribbons adorning the Super League trophy would make for a nice change, after all.