Huddersfield 28 Hull 8: Crabtree wrestles points away from injury-hit Hull

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The Independent Online

Revenge was in the air at the Galpharm Stadium yesterday. Hull were responsible for the end of Huddersfield's 2007 season when they knocked the Giants out of the play-offs.

Huddersfield's task was made easier by Hull's injury crisis. Peter Sharp, Hull's coach, was without Kirk Yeaman, Richard Horne, Garreth Carvell, Willie Manu, Shaun Berrigan and Richard Whiting. The injury news got worse, Ewan Dowes suffering a knee injury that will keep him out for a month at least.

"We had a lot of kids out there, so we lacked a bit of finesse," said Sharp. "These are tough times for the club, but there have been teams in worse predicaments than ourselves. We'll bounce back."

Defences dominated the opening stages. A Danny Tickle penalty put the visitors ahead in the 10th minute, though, and Hull appeared to be getting on top, particularly whenever Adam Dykes got close to the action. The Australian scrum-half, whose season was starting four games late due to injury, directed his team's best work.

It was against the run of play for Huddersfield to score the first try. George Gatis made a jinking run to the left of the posts and Paul Whatuira had an easy task to score. Hull responded immediately, the centre Craig Hall feigning a pass to his winger, Matt Sing, and stepping inside Whatuira.

Rod Jensen went close for Huddersfield, a last-ditch tap tackle from Sing off-balancing the winger. The Giants still scored in that set of six, Jensen producing a superb offload out of a two-man tackle to give Kevin Brown the try.

Huddersfield extended their four-point half-time lead when Luke Robinson dived over from dummy-half. The game's decisive play came on the hour. Kevin Brown intercepted a Hull pass and galloped 70 metres before being dragged to the floor. With the defence in tatters Eorl Crabtree used his size to overpower the last resistance and plonk the ball over the line. In the dying moments, Shane Elford wrapped up the scoring for the home side with a try in the corner.

Jon Sharp, Huddersfield's coach, was delighted by his side's display. "We were pretty good today, but I know we can be better in other areas," he said. "We needed to bring our A-game to beat Hull today and I think we did."

Huddersfield : Thorman; Elford, Whaturia, Lolesi, Jensen; Brown, Robinson; Mason, Hudson, Skandalis, Crabtree, Snitch, Wild. Substitutes used: Gatis, Raleigh, Jackson, Griffin.

Hull: Tony; Sing, Byrne, Hall, Raynor; Washbrook, Dykes; Dowes, Lee, Cusack, Radford, Tickle, Horne. Substitutes used: King, Wheeldon, Houghton, Dale.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

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