John Duffy paid huge tribute to his players and medical staff after his injury-riddled Swinton Lions became the second Championship side to knock Super League opposition out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup this weekend.
Less than 24 hours after Hull KR beat Leigh, Duffy’s Championship strugglers, just a place above the relegation zone, came from behind three times to defeat Huddersfield Giants 28-24.
Duffy could argue that Swinton’s success was even more impressive than Hull KR’s, because of their injury issues.
He said: “We only had 15 fit players yesterday. It was a massive achievement for the club but everything goes on the players and the medical staff today – nothing to do with the coaching staff.
“I’d like to thank our medical staff for doing a great job over the last couple of weeks. They have turned it around for us and the boys really dug deep.
“We had three new faces – two young lads on loan from Wigan Warriors (Josh Woods and Caine Barnes), who I thought were outstanding, plus Liam Carberry (out of contract) who has not played for five or six months.
“We’ve not been able to train properly through sore bodies and having two games in four days last week. But we came up with a simple plan and stuck to it and ended up grinding out a good win.”
For a dejected Huddersfield coach Rick Stone, it was the ninth game in total without a win.
The Giants were without around 10 first-choice players and Stone said: “It wasn’t good. It probably gives an indication of where our squad are at the moment. “The depth and number of players out of the team at the moment hurt us a bit.
“I have no worries about the boys who were out there. They tried but the opposition came and challenged and were hungry and deserved their win.
“The Championship is full of hardened pros who have been around the block and know know to win games, and we saw a bit of that today. There’s no denying that is a massive blow for us and everyone is very disappointed – you can feel it.”