Cudjoe's hat-trick carves up Quins

Harlequins RL 18 Huddersfield Giants 32
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The Independent Online

Three tries from Leroy Cudjoe maintained Huddersfield's momentum near the top of Super League against a depleted Harlequins last night. The in-form Giants never ran riot the way they threatened, but were always a little too good for brave opponents, with Cudjoe's cool finishing a highlight.

"We came for a victory and we got a victory, but the opposition made it tough for us," said the Huddersfield coach, Nathan Brown. "I'm very proud and glad for them," said Quins' Brian McDermott. "It was by far our best performance of the year."

Quins' injury nightmare was under-lined before the game by Jon Wells's announcement that he is retiring because of a neck injury. All the more reason to fear opposition as good as the rampant Giants.

Those fears seemed to be borne out by two Huddersfield tries in the first six minutes. The first came when Kevin Brown chipped over the defence for Lee Gilmour to catch the ball on the full. Brett Hodgson added the goal and then produced the kick for an equivalent try by Cudjoe on the opposite side of the pitch.

Remarkably, that was it for almost half an hour, with Quins under virtually constant pressure yet standing up to it manfully. But they finally cracked when David Faiumu released Luke Robinson, who directed another of the Giants' series of perfect attacking kicks into the arms of Cudjoe. Quins got a defiant try through Chad Randall on a rare foray immediately before half-time.

After the interval Cudjoe completed his hat-trick from Stephen Wild's final pass. Eorl Crabtree then claimed his first try for 21 months, and Graeme Horne recorded his first try for the club. Chris Melling got one back for Quins from Randall's kick to show that they were still hanging in, before Tony Clubb claimed another from Lamont Bryan's pass. Huddersfield were worried enough to kick a late penalty. It all added up to the most honourable of defeats for Quins.

Harlequins Jones-Bishop; O'Callaghan, Clubb, Howell, Sharp; Melling, Orr; Ward, Randall, Wilkes, Williamson, Bolger, Golden. Substitutes used: Bryan, Williams, Bibb, McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Huddersfield B Hodgson; Cudjoe, Wild, Gilmour, D.Hodgson; Brown, Robinson; Griffin, Lunt, Raleigh, Horne, Fa'alogo, Aspinwall. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Patrick, Grix, Faiumu.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).

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