Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: September 2017

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Contents

5th
12th
19th
26th

5th

What an enthralling event Tuesday evening at Turnbridge WMC turned out to be.

'TV' Tony Martin was our guest.

You will not have seen Tony on television for a few weeks, he has had a hernia operation. But now, he's back! Though if you are one of his fans, you won't see him this week as he is taking care of the touch line at the non-televised Castleford v Leeds game.

Tony has been a touch judge for every year that Super League has been in existence – and for many years before that. He did tell us his age, but that was only for the ears of those at the meeting!

Not only is he a touch judge, he is also a qualified referee, but only goes up to the Championship level. Prior to officiating he played the game in his home town of Oldham.

When questioned about the current standard of refereeing, he pointed out that the last 12 months have seen an unprecedented number of officials leaving the RFL – for whatever reason.

This has thrust younger refs into the Super League arena ahead of their projected time, and they are having to learn the top flight 'on the job'.

Tony pointed out that all match officials are continually talking to each other during the game, but it was up to the man in the middle to make the final decision – even when Tony knew it was wrong!

Unlike some younger touch judges, Tony likes to talk to players and give them the benefit of the doubt for minor infringements – but only if they do not repeat the offence! Tony quoted the example of a player swearing at him. He asked the player what he had said and the reply was "nothing"!

In Tony's pinion, one of the best players to have played in Super League – and still the best if he gets out of bed on the right side – is one Mr Brough.

"Danny is still an outstanding player, but a pain to officiate!"

A prospective outstanding player of the future was grilled by Mr Blacker in the newly-named Legends Bar last Friday. KSDL have obviously had spies listening in to his pre-match interviews and have named the establishment after him.

Tyler Dickinson put up a brave show when interviewed by the great man and almost proved to be Brian's equal in front of yet another impressive turnout.

Send us your caption for the photo of the pair shown on our homepage.

A really important date for your diary. Tuesday October 10th.

It is the Annual General Meeting of the association. We shall commence proceedings at 7:30 in Turnbridge WMC.

If he is not on duty elsewhere, we shall present the Wagstaff Trophy to this year's winner. We shall also elect your committee for the following 12 months.

Voting and nomination forms can be found on our website, www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

12th

So, what did we learn at Salford last week?

That you can take a steel flask into the ground but not a bottle of water or juice with its top on – "because if thrown it is dangerous". There was no answer to "what if the steel flask is thrown?".

Thoughts and feelings about the match have been expressed freely elsewhere. Suffice to say it was a shambles.

Why does one team become a bogey team?

Even going back to when Salford played at the Willows, a little upstart called Luke Robinson rang rings round us!

And then there was that thunderstorm night when Robbie Paul stated that "We never play well in the wet"!

First win since they last won – months ago - against us! Pah!

Did he fall? Or was he pushed?

Tony Smith is leaving Warrington.

Tony earned respect around the rugby world in the way that he pulled us up from the depths of despondency.

The year he took over was the year we were finally relegated after numerous unsuccessful attempts!

It should be remembered the results from second half of that season would have seen us near the top of Super League, such was Tony's influence.

He brought in Steve McNamara and Stanley Gene. And 'converted' Eorl into a try-scoring centre!

What soured some people's opinion was that he left us with no job prospects and was appointed coach at Leeds within the next 3 days.

Anyway, all the best, Tony, with whatever team you are involved with next.

Thank you for saving us.

Whom do you consider to be our best coach in the Super League era [let's omit Rick Stone for now]?

Most of our long-serving players cite Nathan Brown. Which always begs the question 'What went wrong in the second half of that season'?

Remember, remember, the 10th of October. Our Annual General Meeting. Proceedings will commence at 7:30 in Turnbridge WMC.

Wagstaff voting is now closed, but you can still nominate committee members via our website, www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

19th

Following on from last week's question, what did we learn from the St Helens game?

Mainly that the good people of Lesser Merseyside are a sensitive lot.

Their ears are so delicate that they do not like the opposition fans to make much noise. They are even more aggrieved when a taxi-load of fans outshout the home support!

Yes, the 80 [an appalling turnout] or so Giants' fans made so much noise that the stewards asked us to be quiet!

Fair does to the stewards though. They didn't pursue the issue when their pleadings where ignored. In fact, they seemed to enjoy the situation and took it all in good heart!

There have been a few murmurs of disquiet regarding the newly-named Legends Bar where we meet before games.

A meeting has been arranged with Gareth Davies, the boss of KSDL, to discuss matters.

In the meantime, we have been assured, there will be wine, cider, and, probably, a craft beer on sale at the Leeds game.

And for those who will be feeling a little peckish, sausage rolls will be on sale.

On a personal note [ie nothing to do with HGSA], I have had a moan about the food at stadium events in the past so it only fair to praise when things are good.

The meal at this week's Awards Evening was far better than anything I have ever had at the stadium. Well done.

Talking of singing praises, the club have to be applauded for the early bird prices for season tickets. Sorry, season cards!

The last time there was a nominal season charge [remember that dreadful season?] the following year's prices rose to 'normal'.

Well, this time they have shot up from £99 to a staggering £125!

Not only the cheapest in Super League, but far cheaper than any of our neighbouring Championship clubs – and cheaper than that giant of rugby which will be playing in League 1!

So, if you are one of the disaffected 12000 of their fans, why not return to your home town team and watch Super League at the Giants!

Well done to Seb [you try spelling the rest of his name!] on not only being the player that the members of HGSA would least like to leave the club, but also the fact that he took all the rest of the major honours at Monday night's event.

Finally, thank you to the Directors for recognising the work done by HGSA by nominating us the for the Outstanding Achievement Award. Sadly there was a bloke called Eorl Crabtree who got in the way of us winning!

A reminder about our Annual General Meeting on the 10th of October. Proceedings will commence at 7:30 in Turnbridge WMC.

And Seb's wife said that he will be free to collect his award again in front of us.

Please nominate committee members via our website, www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

26th

A big 'Thank You' to the proprietors of the Legends Bar for listening to – and acting upon some of – our grievances. Sorry that the pies and sausage rolls didn't sell.

The bar was absolutely rocking last Friday. Who would it be this week?

Why, Brian Blacker, of course. And he had managed to lure the non-playing Jermaine McGillvary to be at the forefront of his jibes.

The trouble for Brian is that Jerry can give as good as he gets!

Even the Leeds fans who had joined us enjoyed themselves saying that they have nothing like it at Leeds.

Of course they don't. Brian is Huddersfield through and through.

And what about Seb?

After his monumental success at the Giants Awards Evening, he now finds himself in the Super League Dream Team.

Come along and meet him at our AGM on the 10th October at Turnbridge WMC.

Speaking of Leeds, I have just read the latest blog from Sophie Watkins, wife of Callum.

Whatever you think about Callum Watkins and Leeds, this is a must-read article.

She writes about her life married to Callum this blog is how she copes with Callum's on-going depression.

Awareness of mental illness is growing. None more so than in our own special sport.

It is now 7 years since that 'hard man' of Rugby League, Terry Newton, took his own life through depression.

Out of that tragedy has grown RL's 'State Of Mind'.

Stevie Ward of Leeds had depression in 2014. This resulted in him establishing an online magazine, Mantality, which encourages people to open up about their struggles.

Another Leeds player, Luke Ambler, had a brother, Andy, who seemed 'happy with life'. Andy took his own life.

Luke asked himself "What next?" and so formed 'Andy's Man Club', his way of trying to get men to talk and tackle mental health.

We in Huddersfield, have just had a large 'Andy's Man Club' event. One of our own supporters, Rob Thewlis, is one of the local co-ordinators. You can find him on Facebook.

So the plea is, talk to someone. Don't bottle it up. Read Sophie's article [http://mantalitymagazine.com/mind/the-secret-life-of-a-rugby-wife-kallum-watkins-struggle/].

And there's always the Samaritans who are on-call 24 hours a day [116 123].

Finally, please nominate committee members via our website, www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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