Huddersfield 32 Salford 18: Reds roll over as Giants stride towards play-offs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Huddersfield kept up the good work that could steer them towards a play-off place by claiming the scalp of a second top-six side in eight days. The Giants did not reach the heights they scaled against Super League leaders St Helens last weekend, but against a curiously flat Salford they hardly needed to.

Salford's troubles started when Paul Smith charged down a kick from the out-of-sorts Andrew Dunemann and Brad Drew went over from close range after four minutes.

There was a hint of something better when Luke Robinson initiated an attack and was there to touch down from John Wilshere's kick, but the Reds' revival never amounted to much.

The outstanding Drew combined with Smith to send Stuart Donlan over and restore Huddersfield's lead, and Salford's mistakes destroyed what remained of their hopes. Wilshere knocked on near his own line and Eorl Crabtree seized on the error to charge over, then Karl Fitzpatrick fumbled to concede the possession from which Drew went in for his second try.

"There were a lot of cheap turn-overs, a lot of cheap penalties and too many dropped balls," said the Salford coach, Karl Harrison, summing up most of the deficiencies in his side.

Compared with some of their stirring performances this season, they also lacked real impact in the forwards, with players like Crabtree, Keith Mason and Stuart Jones allowed to dominate the physical confrontations.

With Michael De Vere never looking like missing a kick at goal, the Giants were 18 points ahead at half-time, although Salford did draw first blood after the interval, when Robinson cleverly delayed his pass to Ian Sibbit and Aaron Moule went on to score.

But the game finally went away from them when another of the Giants' leading performers, Paul March, pursued his kick when a defender blocked it and had the persistence to put in a second effort from which Martin Aspinwall scored in the corner.

Robinson created a third Salford try with a kick to Stephen Myler, but it was far too late to make any difference to the end result.

"We got an enormous amount of confidence from last week's game, but we've always had belief in what we're trying to do," said the Huddersfield coach, Jon Sharp. "We don't spend much time looking at the league ladder, but that was an important win for us."

Huddersfield: Reilly; Aspinwall, Evans, De Vere, Donlan; March, Paul; Mason, Drew, Gannon, Smith, Raleigh, Jones. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Jackson, McDonald, Gardner.

Salford: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Moule, Littler, Wilshere; Dunemann, Robinson; Coley, Alker, Highton, Brocklehurst, Clayton, Finnigan. Substitutes used: Rutgerson, Sibbit, Charles, Myler.

Referee: A Klein (Keighley).

Comments