Huddersfield great Eorl Crabtree has backed the decision to leave Will Pryce out of the Challenge Cup final squad saying the rising star didn’t deserve to play.
The teenage playmaker was available for the first time following a ten-match ban but Giants coach Ian Watson opted to omit the youngster from the 17 as Huddersfield suffered an agonising late defeat to Wigan at Tottenham on Saturday.
With influential half-back Theo Fages ruled out and Olly Russell nursing an injury, Pryce was tipped for an immediate return to the squad for the showpiece event. Watson though opted for the experience and versatility of Ashton Golding on the bench as his side produced an impressive performance before falling to Liam Marshall’s late match-winner.
And Crabtree, who played in two previous Challenge Cup final defeats for Huddersfield in 2006 and 2009, insists Watson got it spot on.
“He’s missed the last 10 so he doesn’t deserve to play and what a lot of pressure there would have been,” Crabtree told Love Rugby League.
“It was the right decision to leave out him out. We did enough, three minutes left we were winning so we didn’t need Will Pryce there. We just needed more composure and discipline.
“Will would have been good had we been chasing the game but we weren’t ever chasing the game so it was the right decision. We did more than enough to win the game, but we didn’t.”
Eorl Crabtree: Huddersfield closer than I’ve ever seen us
Speaking exclusively on this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast, the former England prop believes the club will react positively to the crushing disappointment, and will compete for Super League honours at the end of the season.
“What it does is show us where we are at, which is very close. Closer than I’ve ever seen us,” he says.
“I just hope it helps us kick on a bit. We still have the Grand Final to push for. There’s no reason we can’t go for that.”