Sam Halsall on key Huddersfield Giants mistake in 2023 and personal development

HUDDERSFIELD won’t be getting ahead of themselves like last year, according to Sam Halsall.

The Giants were one of the 2023 season’s biggest underachievers, finishing ninth in Super League when one of the competition’s strongest squads was expected to make a title push.

It’s now back to the drawing board for head coach Ian Watson, and young outside back Halsall believes resetting expectations will be no bad thing.

“We’re not looking too far forward, which is what we did last year,” said the former Wigan man, who made 17 appearances in his first campaign as a Giant.

“The year that they had previously (in 2022), finishing third and reaching the Challenge Cup final, made it a massive year for the club. 

“Last year I think we looked too far forward. This year it’s going to be week-to-week and it’s simplifying things. When we did that we started picking up wins.”

Huddersfield’s poor form for much of 2023 owed little to Halsall, who scored nine tries in a strong first season and cemented a starting place towards the end of it.

But the 22-year-old said: “There are a lot of areas for me personally that I know I need to improve on this year. 

“I was more satisfied with the way I finished the season and I want to carry that into the start of this year and throughout the year.

“I got brought out of the team mid-year and me and Watto (Watson) had a few conversations about what I needed to do to get back into the team. 

“I tried to do those things and then implement them into a game and I stayed in the team for the rest of the year.

“It was the way that I carried the ball, different variations of carry, and small things in back field around linking. 

“We’re working on that in pre-season. Hopefully in the pre-season friendlies I can show that and put my best foot forward to be starting.”

Halsall featured mostly as a winger last year but was previously better known as a centre.

“I’ll play wherever I get put in the team. I’m only young still so for me it’s just experience, learning my trade wherever I’m put,” he added.

“I would say I prefer centre but I enjoyed my time on the wing last year. When I was at Wigan I was put on the wing as well so it wasn’t like I hadn’t done it before.”