Huddersfield Giants winger Jermaine McGillvary believes upcoming opponents Catalans Dragons must be taken seriously after a number of big-name signings in the off-season.
The Giants head into Sunday’s clash with the Dragons after registering just their first win of the season with a 38-6 victory over Hull KR last week.
McGillvary crossed the line for his third try of the campaign, with his side ending a lowly opening to the 2016 season with their a vital two points.
With Catalans on the horizon and the a number of big-name NRL imports such as Dave Taylor and Pat Richards, the 27-year-old admitted they must approach the game with a realistic mentality.
“Catalans are a different side to previous seasons and they’ve made some big Australian signings so it’s going to be a tough game,” he said.
“I watched them against Warrington and they started off really well I thought they were going to go all the way but they just didn’t stay there long enough.
“We can’t take them for granted because every game is a tough game and no-one wants to be in that middle eights and we’ve got all our players back now so it should go really well.
“They’ve always had a good strong squad but I’m not sure why they haven’t been doing as well as they could but on paper they’ve got some big players and if the game was played on paper they’d be right up there but it’s not which is what they need to address.”
Huddersfield’s resurgence in the early stages of the season has been aided by the return of the likes of Danny Brough and Eorl Crabtree in recent weeks, after struggling intensely with injuries in the opening four rounds.
But McGillvary dismissed the injury problem as an excuse for their poor form and hopes the return to a clean bill of health can be a huge step in the right direction.
“It’s the first time we were in full-strength, which in pre-season looked a very strong squad and I know things will get better if everyone can stay fit,” he added.
“You can’t just go out there after a poor game and blame the injuries but that experience helps massively and you could tell by last week.
“There were a couple of games in that bad spell where we did use that as an excuse after we tossed out some absolute rubbish but the Wigan game and these close games we just needed an older head and some experience.”