Returning to one of the Yorkshire clubs sees the focus upon Huddersfield Giants.
Huddersfield houses the birthplace of the great sport but this season, they arguably weren’t worthy of that honour as they produced one of their worst ever Super League season to date.
Just three seasons after finishing top and 12 months after being seconds within the League Leaders Shield, the Giants only managed six wins in the regular season, finishing bottom of the pile.
They stuttered slightly in the Super 8s Qualifiers after two defeats to Leigh Centurions and Salford Red Devils but recovered with priceless wins over Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers to survive.
The Giants left many memories behind in 2016, the majority being negative, and thus will hope to avoid a repeat in 2017.
Most Memorable Result
In all competitions, the Giants recorded three superb home wins over Leeds Rhinos in 2016.
A rare achievement; however, the most remarkable one surpassed all three has to be their 48-20 Magic Weekend thumping over St Helens.
This was arguably Huddersfield’s best period of the season as they recently recorded two of their three wins against Leeds back-to-back before defeating the Saints in some style.
The Giants secured victories in more important matches later in the season but this one was a solid all round performance.
Jermaine McGillvary scored two tries plus further scores came from Ukuma Ta’ai, Jamie Ellis, Sam Rapira, Aaron Murphy, Ryan Hinchcliffe and Kyle Wood.
They made the Saints look lethargic throughout as they could only manage four tries through Matty Dawson, Jack Owens, Theo Fages and Adam Swift.
Huddersfield’s best performance of 2016 by all accounts demonstrates that they perhaps underachieved this season by finish bottom.
Rick Stone will hope his side can return to the top in 2017, though they have to be off the mark instantly otherwise similar circumstances will repeat.
Most Forgettable Result
The Giants had many defeats to choose from in their disappointing season, some stood out such as their 20 point home loss to Catalan or their try-less and rather boring loss to Wakefield.
However, the result that was more embarrassing had to be their 48-40 defeat to Leigh in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Huddersfield started the match very poorly and left it far too late when they launched a fightback to add some respectability into their ranks.
Regardless, the match was gone just after half-time and against a lower league side, this obviously didn’t go down too well with the support.
The Giants fell behind 42-10 by half-time as tries from Michael Lawrence and Aaron Murphy were over-shadowed as Leigh scored through Greg Worthington, Cory Paterson, two from Martyn Ridyard and a hat-trick from St Helens loanee Dawson.
Mitch Brown added another for Leigh just after the break before Leroy Cudjoe and Jamie Ellis each managed a brace plus a final try from Jake Connor helped Huddersfield up to 40 points.
Only eight points in it but Leigh did flatten the Giants to begin with in an emphatic display.
Definitely the one to forget by all accounts and something they’ll hope to avoid come next season when both sides meet once more.
Successful or Under-achievers?
A rather obvious answer to this one, the Giants by their accounts and history, definitely under-achieved.
From several seasons of challenging silverware to being within 160 minutes of the drop, the Giants will want to avoid another torrid season.
Following the sacking of Head Coach Paul Anderson, the Giants didn’t fare any better, though Stone did enough to keep the Giants in the top flight.
Stone will now set his sights on taking Huddersfield back up to the top and though they have the personnel and talent, it’s simply now down to attitude.
Ryan Brierley starting the season alongside Danny Brough and Jamie Ellis may see all three develop an exciting attacking combination after the former was rushed in after his controversial exit from Leigh.
The Giants also have some promising forwards coming through the academy, such as Nathan Mason and Ollie Roberts, who will only improve in their development.
These may be the ingredients necessary to see the Giants return to form next season but that remains a BIG if and if they succeed, will they walk away with silverware or will it be yet another anti-climax from the Giants?