Joe Whiteley: the 2002 season in the Northern Ford Premiership


After the disappointment of losing Super League status, the 2002 season in the Northern Ford Premiership is one of my greatest Rugby Memories.

For the first time in my life, I was following a Giants team who were consistently winning and were going to games expecting to win, I'd never experienced that before!

I remember the Buddies Cup Final at Featherstone, beating Hull KR, and Chris Thorman's record-breaking hat trick in the semi-final at Doncaster.

The only time we dropped points in the league was in a 12-12 draw away at Whitehaven, and I remember switching to behind the goals for the second half on a horrible day, and seeing both teams trying drop goals from all angles, but failing miserably!

One of the strangest memories of that year looking back, would be seeing Eorl Crabtree playing out wide in the centres. I'd like to see him back there in Super League!

The highlight of the season though, was the Play Off Final against Leigh. After dominating the league so well and being the only full-time outfit in the league, the pressure was on the team to succeed.

After a nervy start we blew them away in the second half, winning 36-10 and booking our place back in Super League.

That season seemed to be the making of the club, and we haven't looked back since!

Joe Whiteley


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Memory added on March 2, 2013

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