The London Broncos will travel to the John Smith’s Stadium in West Yorkshire tomorrow night, facing Super League side, Huddersfield Giants, and head coach, Andrew Henderson, says his team are relishing the challenge of taking on tough competition.
“The boys are really excited about it, and this is what we’ve worked for all season – we’ve worked extremely hard to get this opportunity, and not about just getting promotion but for these players to get the opportunity to play on the big stage against some of the best teams in the country. They’ve earned that right and are very much relishing that opportunity.
“Huddersfield are a team with a lot of quality players, they’ve got a lot of strike in there. They’ve not been at their best this season, there’s no two ways about that.
“They’ve had a few issues obviously – the collective group’s not been buying in as much as they did in recent seasons for whatever reasons. They’ve changed their coach – Rick Stone’s just come into the fold there a few weeks out before the Super 8s, so he’ll be now trying to put his stamp on things.
“For me, they’re just in that transitional period at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve still got the quality in that side to hurt teams on the day, and we’ve seen that already at the back end of the season – they beat Hull FC and they’ve had a couple of other decent results as well, some good performances.
“Their last two games – I’ve watched them against Batley and Featherstone – they were very good, very efficient in what they did.
“We know the task that we’re faced with, we’re still coming up against a very tough Huddersfield side, although they may not be playing with the consistency they know they can, and they’ll be looking to make it three from three this week, no doubt about that.
“In terms of ourselves, we’re going there with some belief and some confidence – there’s no pressure on us, we’re a good footballing team – we’re a quality side with some quality people and we’ll fight and we’ll dig deep, and who knows – on the night we’ll hopefully have enough out there to get the job done.
“I think we’ve shown in the competition already we’ve been more than competitive – we competed very well against Leeds in the last game; we pushed Leigh all the way and could have snuck it there if we’d had a few more minutes on the clock. We had a very emphatic and comprehensive win against Batley at home, so where we’re at in this stage of the competition, I think we’re doing alright.
“The real test now is how we go these next four weeks, and it starts with Huddersfield on Friday. It’s been a decent start for us in the competition, but we’ve got to raise it now. We can’t just be happy with competing hard, we’ve got to get results – that’s the reality, so we’re certainly going to be going out there and giving it everything to get those two points.
“Absolutely we’re still a chance for promotion. Obviously at this stage we’re one from three, so these next four games – you can take some credit for competing well and competing hard – but the ultimate thing is you need points on the board. We need to get wins, and that’s the reality.
“We’ve got three Super League clubs to face as well as a Championship club – they’re all very good teams and that’s the beauty of this competition – they’re all very good teams out there and you’ve got to have your best performances week in, week out to get results – especially when you’re a Championship side having to step up to the plate, and step and mix it with these big boys, so that’s the be all and end all for me now, it’s just about winning.
“We certainly believe we’ve got a squad that’s capable of getting results, so we’re going to go there on Friday night and I’m sure we’ll certainly give ourselves a chance, it’s just whether or not we execute a little bit better on the night, and we’ve got to be a little bit more clinical in what we’re doing.
“I’ve got no qualms that our attitude, our commitment and our work ethic will be there, it’s just making sure that we take our chances and we make sure we execute well, and we put Huddersfield under pressure to give ourselves a real chance.”