Huddersfield 10 Leeds 30: Webb and Hall show pedigree as Leeds crush Huddersfield

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Those waiting for the champions of Super League to slip up this season will have to wait a little longer, after two tries apiece from Brent Webb and Ryan Hall sent Huddersfield's biggest crowd for over 40 years home disappointed.

An attendance of 15,629 showed how far the Giants have come, but any theory that they might be the side to take advantage of Leeds' early season workload were soon disproved.

Much of that was down to Webb, the New Zealand Test full-back, who was at his best at the Galpharm Stadium. It was he who darted through on to Matt Diskin's well-directed kick to give the Rhinos a lead after three minutes that they were never to lose.

Huddersfield's initial response was encouraging with their winger Rod Jensen, scoring a superb try. After Jamie Jones-Buchanan had stretched Leeds lead, however, Webb prevented Jensen going over again with a glorious tackle.

"It was a great effort and great efforts like that inspire your team-mates to kick on," said the Rhinos' coach, Brian McClennan.

Webb showed his attacking credentials again with a try from a Danny McGuire kick, but the minutes immediately before and after half-time belonged to the 20-year-old Hall. He justified his selection with two spectacular tries. The first came when he latched on to a typical offload from Ali Lauitiiti and went 65 metres.

The second, four minutes into the second half, was from even longer range, after he took an interception from Kevin Brown on his own 10-metre line and raced away. "He's still got a lot of work to do on different aspects of his game," said McClennan.

The game lost much of its impetus in the second half and the only other score was a penalty from Rob Burrow.

It left the Huddersfield coach, Jon Sharp, frustrated: "I'm really disappointed with the performance. We came a poor second to a very good Leeds team."

Huddersfield: Thorman, Elford, Whatuira, Wild, Jensen, Brown, Robinson, Crabtree, Hudson, Griffin, Lolesi, Snitch, Raleigh. Subsitutes: Gatis, Skandalis, Mason, Cudjoe.

Leeds: Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield. Substitutes: Lauitiiti, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).