Costin turns Giants into giant-killers

Huddersfield 30 Leeds 24
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The Independent Online

A last ditch try from Brandon Costin gave the resurgent Giants a second major scalp in a week as they humbled the Super League leaders. Leeds had battled back from 12 points down as they strove to salvage a record of not having lost to Huddersfield since 1965.

A draw looked the likely outcome when Costin had his drop-goal attempt charged down with time running out, but Jarrod O'Doherty retrieved the loose ball and Costin threaded his way over to seal a famous victory.

"There's a lot of good players in my side, but the thing they've got going for them is that they play as a team," said their proud coach, Tony Smith. "They've been building for these sort of performances."

With their triumph over Wigan last week fresh in their minds, Huddersfield made the perfect start last night, when Kevin Sinfield's pass rebounded off Chev Walker's chest and Stanley Gene - again at the heart of their best work - sprinted down the right wing to score after 35 seconds.

Costin's penalty made it a six-point lead, but Leeds equalised when Wayne McDonald stood tall in the tackle to slip the ball to Sinfield. Gene's second try was a bizarre affair, Mark Calderwood knocking the ball out of Jamie Bloem's grasp after he had crossed the try line. But the ball bounced off Bloem for the alert Gene to touch down.

Steve McNamara's three goals made it a 10-point lead by the break, before an extraordinary start to the second half. Russell Smith sent three men to the sin-bin in three separate incidents within three minutes. Huddersfield's Ben Roarty was the first to go, followed by David Furner and Matt Diskin. The 11 men of Leeds made inroads, however, when Danny McGuire's acceleration took him round his markers.

Huddersfield stretched their lead again, and from a loose ball the Giants worked a move smoothly to the left and Costin took Julian Bailey's return pass to score.

As Huddersfield's huge effort began to tell on them, Leeds came back with tries from McDonald and Furner. Sinfield's goals levelled the scores, but there was no doubt which side deserved win.

"I thought Huddersfield fully deserved their victory," admitted Daryl Powell, whose front runners are showing signs of a mid-season stumble "They're making a habit of beating teams above them at the top of the table."

Huddersfield, a running joke in Super League for several seasons, are now beginning to look towards that end of the table themselves "We've set ourselves goals," said Smith. "We're not saying what they are outside the changing rooms, but we've set them."

Huddersfield: Reilly; O'Hare, Bailey, Costin, St Hilaire; Gene, March; Fleary, Turner, Gannon, O'Doherty, Roarty, Bloem. Subs used: McNamara, Slicker, Morrison, Whitaker.

Leeds: Connolly; Calderwood, Walker, McKenna, Cummins; Sinfield, Burrow; Ward, Diskin, McDermott, Adamson, Poching, Furner. Subs used: Feather, McGuire, Jones-Buchanan, McDonald.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).