It is fair to say Adam Swift enjoyed his return to Hull FC in Round 7 of the Betfred Super League season, running in a hat-trick of tries to help Huddersfield Giants to a 56-22 victory at the MKM Stadium.

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Image:Littler Crossbar challenge

That came just two weeks after the winger had run in four tries against the Black and Whites to help knock them out of the Betfred Challenge Cup, and his 13th of the season in all competitions last Saturday saw the Giants through to the semi-finals as they beat Catalans Dragons 34-6 in Perpignan.

Eight of those tries alone have come in Super League where Swift sits atop the scoring chart after seven rounds of the 2024 regular season and Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson has been left marvelling at the displays from one of his off-season recruits.

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Highlights as Adam Swift scored a hat-trick of tries in Huddersfield Giants’ win over Hull FC in Round 7 of the Betfred Super League

“Two of Swifty’s tries, we don’t score this year without him,” Watson said in his post-match press conference following the cup win at home to Hull FC.

“He’s just on a different level in terms of getting that space – there was minute space.

“There are certain things Swifty can do when he’s put in positions, and he can score out of nothing.

“Like I said, last year, we don’t score them tries and we probably don’t get in front on the scoreline, which helped us settle.”

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Adam Swift in 2024 so far

Swift had some fairly sizeable shoes to fill on the wing when he made the switch to Huddersfield, coming in after the club bade farewell to former England star Jermaine McGillvary, who crossed the whitewash 209 times for his hometown club in 312 appearances between 2010 and 2023.

The 31-year-old has proven a more than adequate replacement so far though, and since breaking his duck in his third outing of the season he has scored in every game since.

He has proven tricky for opponents to stop in Super League this season too, with seven line breaks, the third-highest in the competition, and 32 tackle busts. Added to that, Swift is gaining over 10 metres per run on average as well.

Not that any of this should really come as a surprise though. Although perhaps one of the more unheralded wide players in Super League, the St Helens native averages better than a try every other game for his top-flight career which includes being part of Saints’ 2014 Grand Final-winning team.

Even with a Hull FC side which finished 10th last season, Swift finished in the top 10 of try-scorers in Super League with 19 tries to his name and was in the top 20 for both tackle busts and clean breaks, along with gaining over eight metres per carry on average.

He will not be the only Huddersfield threat Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith will aim to contain on Friday night when the sides clash at AMT Headingley, live on Sky Sports, though.

“They’re a good team across the board,” Smith said in his pre-match press conference. “Playing well together is their biggest threat, but Jake Connor at the back is a try assist machine.

“They’ve got a strong forward pack and dangerous outside backs. [Adam] Clune and [Tui] Lolohea have got a growing [half-back] combination, so we’ve got to be good across the park.

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“But we’ve got to throw some stuff at them to put us under pressure, that’s the really key thing.”

Despite Leeds hitting a rough patch in recent weeks, with their 34-8 defeat at home to Warrington Wolves last time out being their fourth defeat in a row in all competitions, Smith’s team head into Round 8 sitting level on points with the Giants.

Huddersfield occupy sixth on points difference though and will undoubtedly have taken a confidence boost from knocking Super League leaders Catalans, who had only suffered one defeat all year prior to that, out of the Challenge Cup on their own patch last weekend.

Like the Rhinos, their failure to make the play-offs in 2023 was considered an underachievement from an ambitious club and Watson is in no doubt they are making steady progress in the early months of this year’s campaign.

Friday’s Round 8 Super League fixtures

Leeds Rhinos vs Huddersfield Giants Sky Sports Action On air 7.30pm (8pm kick-off)
Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers Sky Sports Arena On air 7.55pm (8pm kick-off)
St Helens vs Hull FC Sky Sports Mix On air 7.55pm (8pm kick-off)

“Our performances overall have been pretty decent,” Watson said. “Maybe the Hull KR result was the disappointing one [a 24-12 defeat], particularly at home, but other than that we feel we’re moving forward in the right direction.

“So far this season we’ve been learning about each other, we had eight new players in the team, so everyone is finding out about their consistency and timing, and we’re slowly getting better all of the time.

“The last three weeks have been great and we’re getting better each week and that’s all we speak about, improving every week.”

The Betfred Super League returns live on Sky Sports on Friday, April 19 with three games to start Round 8 – including exclusive coverage of Leeds Rhinos vs Huddersfield Giants from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Action. Watch every match of the Betfred Super League season live on Sky Sports in 2024 or stream with NOW.

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