Hudderfield 60 Catalan Dragons 16 match report: Huddersfield seize on slip by Wigan to close the gap at the summit

 

The John Smith’s Stadium

It is 80 years since Huddersfield finished on top of the league, but the Giants moved to within a point of the pinnacle with what was eventually an overwhelming victory.

Wigan’s defeat by Castleford helped cut the gap, even though it was not always one of the Giants’ more convincing performances.

Brett Ferres was exempt from that criticism with three tries and an assist, but too often Huddersfield were dragged down to the level of an undisciplined French side  

The Dragons started badly, conceding a double penalty for dissent and letting Ferres score from Shaun Lunt’s pass. The visitors soon hit back, when Vincent Duport took a perfectly placed kick from Scott Dureau and touched down.

The give-and-take continued with Aaron Murphy scrambling over from Danny Brough’s long pass before Frédéric Vaccari powered over, making it two tries apiece in a hectic first 12 minutes.

Brough can always be relied upon for an idea or two, however, and his little dinked kick set up Ferres for his second. Typically, the Catalans were allowed straight back again, Damien Blanch wriggling over from dummy-half. Jermaine McGillvary then intercepted Leon Pryce to score despite a great chase from the 39-year-old Steve Menzies. .

Brough nudged the Giants further ahead with a penalty in what remained of the first half, but Duport almost got his second try. Instead, Ferres’ basketball pass to Luke George put clear water  between the two sides.

Zeb Taia got one back for the Catalans, but Dale Ferguson’s break set up Lunt, with the video referee, Steve Ganson, ignoring a suspicious obstruction. Ferres completed his hat-trick for the club McGillvary claimed his second and third tries late on before Leroy Cudjoe rounded it off.

Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Murphy, George; Brough, Robinson; Kopczak, Lunt, Patrick, Ferres, Ferguson, Lawrence. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Faiumu, Ta’ai, Cording.

Catalan Dragons: Escare; Blanch, Duport, Millard, Vaccari; Pryce, Dureau; Simon, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Menzies, Mounis. Substitutes used: Bosc, Pelissier, Larroyer, Paea.

Referee: J Child (Dewsbury).

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