Huddersfield poised for one Giant leap
Huddersfield forward Jason Chan insists the Giants are not yet ready to call time on their best Super League season.
Paul Anderson's table-toppers missed the opportunity to go straight through to the last four of the Grand Final Series when they lost at home to Wigan Warriors a week ago but they have a second chance when they host Hull FC in the first preliminary play-off semi-final tomorrow night.
"We're not panicking," Chan said. "The Wigan game was disappointing because we know we are capable of better.
"We've got the talent and all the ethics to come out and never lose a game all season but it just didn't work out last week.
"We've gone over everything and changed a couple of things. I'm glad it's happened now rather than further down the track. The journey's not finished. I'm looking forward to Thursday."
Huddersfield are clear favourites to make progress, having done the league double over Peter Gentle's Hull this year, and avenge their 46-10 play-off defeat at the KC Stadium 12 months ago.
Chan, one of 13 survivors from that eight-try mauling, refuses to look back, insisting the Giants under Anderson are a far different proposition to the side that faded so badly in 2012.
"That season has gone," said the 29-year-old Papua Guinea international. "It's been totally revamped, things have changed and the energy here at the Giants is awesome.
"What Baloo (Anderson) and the coaching staff have brought is a totally different environment.
"We had a blip against Wigan and everyone thinks it's over but we've re-grouped and we're going to come out firing for the play-off and all the way to Old Trafford.
"I'm definitely enjoying my rugby and it looks like everyone else is too.
"I haven't played Hull this year so I'm looking forward to getting out there and ripping in against them."
Hull were Grand-Final runners-up in 2006, when they finished second in the table, and they must make history if they can make it to Old Trafford from sixth place.
However, skipper Gareth Ellis, who scored his first Super League try for Hull in their 14-4 win over Catalan Dragons last Friday, believes his side can take encouragement from their run to the Challenge Cup final.
"The reality is sixth was probably where we deserved to finish on the table after some of our ups and downs this season but we're confident now, having proven that we can beat the top teams, that we can do something in these play-offs," Ellis said.
"While we won't be the first team to win from outside the top four, we could be the first to win from sixth.
"It's a huge challenge for us but that type of rugby has probably brought the best out of us this season so hopefully it can again.
"We've taken points from everybody above us on the table this year barring Huddersfield and we pushed them close both times so that shows the potential is there and hopefully we'll have another good crack at them on Thursday."
Huddersfield are at full strength while Hull are boosted by the return from injury of experienced prop Andy Lynch, who will be aiming to bow out on a high before confirming a return to Castleford Tigers next season.