Giants maintain bid for a strong Super 8s finish
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/07/18 10:10pm
Hard-working Huddersfield moved up to seventh in the Super League table after producing a rock-solid defensive display to secure a thoroughly-deserved 29-18 home triumph over Hull.
Just six days after a heavy 37-10 defeat at Hull KR, coach Simon Woolford’s team found the perfect response to maintain their bid for a strong Super 8s finish.
At the same time, this defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium was a devastating blow to Hull in their efforts to finish in the top four as they were constantly met by a solid wall of Claret and Gold.
Although Hull were dominant in the first 15 minutes, they were unable to break down a dogged Huddersfield defence, with the hosts rewarded for their early rearguard efforts by opening up a 19-6 interval advantage.
Having weathered the initial Black and White storm, the Giants took the lead on their first meaningful attack as Danny Brough marked his return following a three-match ban by teeing-up Daniel Smith to cross with relative ease for a try under the posts. Brough added the conversion, but within six minutes the visitors found the perfect response.
Another spell of Hull pressure this time proved fruitful, with Albert Kelly’s kick on the sixth tackle finding Bureta Faraimo to touch down for the 13th time this season, with former Giant Jake Connor landing the touchline conversion to level the scores. But the rest of the half belonged to Huddersfield.
With their far more experienced substitutes coming to the fore and making an immediate impact, the Giants went on the front foot, although the manner of their second converted try of the night in the 29th minute was somewhat fortunate. A Lee Gaskell grubber took a wicked deflection off the Hull defence to enable Aaron Murphy to take full advantage, and four minutes later a strong break from deep paved the way for ex-Hull utility back Jordan Rankin to ghost through from 20 metres.
Brough again added the extras and then landed a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to give his side a three-score lead.
A vital ankle tap from Hakim Miloudi denied Giants winger Darnell McIntosh an almost-certain long-range try within three minutes of the restart. But McIntosh was not to be denied in the 51st minute when Gaskell and Jake Wardle fed the flyer to dive over in the corner, with Brough making it four conversions out of four.
At that stage, it looked as if Hull were already down out – although no-one had told the visitors. A successful kick restart put the Airlie Birds straight on the attack and, by the end of the set, Miloudi crashed over for his side’s second try and the lead was back again to 13 points.
Video referee Ben Thaler, who had earlier denied Kelly, ruled out an effort for Jermaine McGillvary after Jack Logan lost the ball as he was tackled into touch and the England winger subsequently raced over in the 62nd minute only to be called back for a scrum to his team.
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Thaler later gave the nod of approval to McIntosh with eight minutes remaining as he just had enough space to squeeze in at the corner for the match-winning score, although this time Brough was off target with the goal attempt.
Danny Houghton crossed for a third converted Hull FC try to narrow the gap to 11 points with four minutes on the clock, but it was too little, too late as the Giants secured an important win.