Sep 2 2013
Paul Anderson spoke of his pride after steering Huddersfield to a first top-table finish for 81 years in his first season as head coach.
The Giants were presented with the Super League leaders shield after a 40-0 rout of Wakefield put them three points clear of Warrington with one round left of the regular season.
An eighth league win in a row sparked wild celebrations among the 8,787 crowd at the John Smith's Stadium as Giants captain Danny Brough received the trophy from Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood.
Huddersfield, who last finished top of the league in 1932, became only the sixth winners of the shield and, after collecting their first silverware of the Super League era, will now go in search of their first championship triumph since 1962.
"To me it feels like we've just won another game but I know what this means to this club and this group of players," said Anderson, the former Great Britain forward who succeeded Australian Nathan Brown just over 12 months ago.
"We've just joined an elite band of clubs to have completed this achievement. We've done what half the competition haven't and it's the first time for 80 years for this club so it's a proud achievement.
"A lot of players in this group have never won anything but now they can tick a box in their CV."
With Brough pulling the strings, Huddersfield dominated the game from start to finish, with second rower Jason Chan and winger Jermaine McGillvary both scoring two tries.
Wakefield, who were without influential playmaker Tim Smith after he was sold to Salford 48 hours earlier by new chairman Michael Carter to ease the club's dire financial problems, never looked capable of spoiling the party.
"I thought it was a real poor game," Anderson added. "Wakefield came with a plan to slow things down.
"But they had the guts ripped out of them by losing their talisman and I can't imagine how Rich (Agar) feels about losing his main playmaker two days before the game."
Agar said he was told of Smith's sale to Salford on Friday and revealed that that big-spending City Reds had made illegal approaches to other Wildcats players.
"Salford have directly contacted three or four of our players and we notified the league about it," he said. "It's disappointing, there are ways and means of doing things."
Agar, who gave a full debut to 20-year-old Bobbie Goulding, son of the former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half of the same name, admitted the uncertainty had an effect on his team and says he is still in the dark over the club's future.
"We didn't have the ideal preparation," he said. "I sat the players down yesterday and told them Timmy had been sold to pay the wages. I sensed a very quiet dressing room before kick-off.
"It's been a difficult few days to say the least. The problems started to emerge two months ago but the true extent of them have come out in the last couple of weeks.
"I still don't think I'm aware of everything but I have a lot of respect for Michael Carter and he'll tell us where we're at.
"I am not afraid of a challenge. It's quite apparent that the club is in a bit of trouble and to get this club surviving is the most important thing."