Giants find flair on home turf as Faiumu scales heights
Huddersfield Giants 46 Hull KR 26
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Sunday 31 July 2011
The Giants had lost their way in the 11 weeks they spent away from their Galpharm home for pitch repairs, but they rediscovered their route map to reclaim third place in the Super League table.
In a game where both defences were permanently over-stretched it was Huddersfield's free-flowing offence that did the most damage, leaving Rovers with only a slim chance of making the play-offs.
The Giants will be there, but they know they, too, will have to tackle better than this to progress very far, although they showed enough flair with the ball to trouble anyone and they also have some key players to come back in.
Huddersfield still looked a little lost in the opening stages, playing themselves into trouble with an obstruction penalty in their own territory and conceding the game's first try to Scott Taylor.
The equaliser came out of the blue, Luke Robinson launching a kick and Leroy Cudjoe plucking it out of the air to touch down.
With neither side looking remotely convincing in defence, further tries were inevitable, the first of them to the Giants when David Faiumu sold an outrageous dummy.
The scores were level again when Clint Newton's run and pass set up Josh Hodgson to score, and the Robins were in the lead when Michael Dobson opted to kick for goal from a penalty.
It all went wrong for them in the five minutes before half-time, when a combination of bad bounces of the ball and their own defensive frailties undermined Rovers' efforts.
Andy Raleigh had the ball stripped from his arms on the try-line, with the referee, Thierry Alibert, waving play-on as Scott Grix dived on to the loose ball.
Then the two young Robins' backs, Sam Latus and Louis Sheriff, were bemused by Danny Brough's high, spinning kick and Graeme Horne took advantage.
The give-and-take rhythm of the game continued after the break with Rovers somehow keeping the ball alive for Ben Fisher to score.
Horne's second try must rank as one of the very best of his career, wafting defenders out of the way as he restored the Giants' control.
Jake Webster's riposte for the Robins was equally good, but some more weak defence from the visitors allowed Danny Kirmond to wriggle his way over.
The points finally looked to be in the bag when Grix claimed his second, set up by a magnificent run and kick by Jermaine McGillvary. It was the best example during the whole evening of attack proving too sharp for defence.
There was still time for Eorl Crabtree to complete the try-scoring and for a frustrated Newton to end the evening in the sin-bin for dissent.
"To be honest, we didn't play all that well until the last 15 minutes," said the Giants' man of the match, Faiumu. "It's hard when you've been in bad form getting that buzz back in the team."
Huddersfield Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Horne, D.Hodgson; Brough, Robinson; Crabtree, Faiumu, Griffin, Gilmour, Kirmond, Fairbank. Substitutes used Raleigh, Patrick, Wood, Walker.
Hull KR Sheriff; Fox, Welham, Latus; Green, Dobson; Vella, J.Hodgson, Wheeldon, Newton, Galea, Taylor. Substitutes used Fisher, Murrell, Netherton, Cox.
Referee T.Alibert (France).
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