Oliver Roberts: ‘Chris Thorman is 100% a Huddersfield Giant’

Josh McAllister

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Huddersfield forward Oliver Roberts has praised former interim coach Chris Thorman ahead of their Cup clash against Catalans.

The Giants started the season slowly with just two wins in seven, which saw Australian coach Rick Stone sacked by the club at the end of March.

However, two months later, the side have reached the top eight in the Super League ladder and will face the Dragons for a place in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup on Thursday.

Ireland international Roberts has thanked Thorman as he believes the former player has really sparked the side back to life.

Roberts said: “We started the season quite rocky with a number of injuries and things weren’t going our way.

“When Chris took over we had a bit of a recap and we’ve literally gone back to basics. Massive credit to Chris as all the hard work has paid off and got us them wins. He is 100% a Huddersfield Giant and is so dedicated. It rubbed off on the boys.

“The boys are 100% Huddersfield too, but not winning and not getting your way is hard to get out of and he’s done well to get us out and push us on.”

The Giants appointed Simon Woolford at the end of April, but the former Newcastle Knights assistant coach had to wait another month before watching his new side in action due to visa issues.

The 43-year-old communicated with Thorman through Skype and watched his first live game of the Giants last Friday as they beat Salford 24-16 to climb into eighth place.

On Woolford, Roberts said: “Simon brought in a philosophy and it seems to be paying off.

“It’s brilliant. He’s arrived now and it’s not much of a shock [in difference] as he had been helping coach using Skype so we had an image of how he wanted to coach already. He’s come in and brought a few of his things, like the way he wants us to attack and defend. He’s changed a number of things.

“I kind of had an idea that he was coming and what sort of person he was from Brett White, who is the assistant coach at Ireland and Canberra. I spoke to him and he told me who he was and what type of person he is.

“He’s good for the club and he’s come in and really helped me so far. There’s a lot of position specifics and a lot of stuff he wants his back-rowers doing, so he’s had an immediate effect.

“You’ve got to basically impress all over again and start a fresh slate. I have to show what I can do and why he should select me.”