Huddersfield Giants prop Eorl Crabtree insists that his side is more than good enough to haul themselves out of trouble this year: and he admits he’s speaking from painful experience.
Crabtree was a member of the Huddersfield squad that was relegated from Super League in 2001, after they lost their first 15 games of the season to finish bottom of the pile.
The forward only played a brief role in that disastrous season for the club, but he knows that the squad the club possesses now is far superior to the one that struggled all those years ago.
“It’s pretty vague, my memory of that time – but what I know is that I can’t tap into that knowledge and experience, because this is totally different,” admitted Crabtree.
“The team we have now is not the team that was around back then; that team was always going to be beaten and always going to be relegated, but this is a side that can win games.
“It was 15 years ago, I was a young kid and we’d lost 17 games on the bounce and I got thrown in for five matches, and was totally out of my depth. It was a great breeding ground for me and whilst it was tough for the club, it was great for me. That was a different era for this club though, and I’m expecting this side to start winning games.”
He continued: “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but that team back then didn’t have players like Broughy, Sam Rapira, Joe Wardle and Jermaine and Leroy, proper international players.
“They were in a position they couldn’t get out of, but we’re in a position we can change for sure.”
Crabtree conceded that it has been “depressing” on occasions this year, but backed the Giants to come good as the year goes on.
“We lost some key personnel at the start of the year that we haven’t replaced, and we’ve brought in some other guys now after the season has started.
“The dynamics of the team has totally changed and we’re playing in a way which is so scrappy. We look like a shadow of ourselves and it’s depressing at times, but I know from looking at the people in this group that there’s enough talent to turn it around.”