Huddersfield Giants 24 Leeds Rhinos 8 match report: Leroy Cudjoe halts Rhinos' annual charge to Wembley

 

john smith's stadium

Leroy Cudjoe intercepted Leeds on their usual route to Wembley with two tries that took Huddersfield into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

The England centre twice picked the Rhinos' pockets for long-range interceptions, but that was only the cutting edge of a steely Giants' performance. They defended magnificently in the second half – especially after Joe Wardle's sending-off on the hour – to deny Leeds, who have been beaten finalists in the last three seasons. "We enjoy fighting for our lives," said Huddersfield's Eorl Crabtree, who put in a massive shift at prop.

It was a compelling contest from start to finish. Two goals from Danny Brough and Shaun Lunt's close-range try gave the Giants an early eight-point lead. It would have been more but for Zak Hardaker's try-saving ankle grab on Crabtree – after which Leeds went straight to the other end and scored through Kallum Watkins.

If that looked like a turning point, Huddersfield refused to be knocked off course, scoring almost immediately through Wardle, after good work down the right by the man of the match, Cudjoe.

The centre then capitalised on his first interception, deep in his own territory from Mitch Achurch. That was the easy part; beating Hardaker and Carl Hall on the way to the try-line was the hard bit.

Brough's long kicking game then kept Leeds pinned back for much of the first half. After the break, Brough edged his side further ahead with a penalty but, when Wardle was dismissed for raining several blows on the head of Carl Ablett, there was still plenty of time for the Super League champions to exploit their advantage.

It looked ominous for the Giants when the impressive Watkins went over for his second try, but then a couple of other chances went astray for the visitors before Cudjoe picked off Danny McGuire's pass to romp away delightedly for the clinching try.

It had been a classic try, worthy of Wembley itself, but there was no disputing Huddersfield's right to take a step in that direction. "To beat Leeds with 12 men shows the character we've got," said Brough, who kicked the final goal.

"Huddersfield played better than we did," said Brian McDermott, the Leeds coach. "We made some uncharacteristic errors, it was a combination of things. I'm very disappointed with the result, but I've no real complaints."

For the Rhinos, there was also the unusual experience of Kevin Sinfield, the captain, failing to kick a goal. At least he and his team will avoid their usual frustration at Wembley this August.

Huddersfield Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Robinson; Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Chan, Ferres, Ferguson. Substitutes used Patrick, Faiumu, Ta'ai, Cording.

Leeds Hardaker; Watkins, Ablett, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Delaney, Jones- Buchanan, Achurch. Substitutes used Kirke, McShane, Clarkson, Bailey.

Referee P Bentham.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital