McNamara provides Huddersfield drive

Huddersfield 30 Hull 14
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The Independent Online

Huddersfield took another major scalp at the McAlpine Stadium yesterday, but the question now is whether they can hang on to their coach.

The Giants have offered Tony Smith a new two-year contract, but he could be in demand elsewhere, with Wigan interested in making him their new coach. "I will make a decision in the next few days," Smith said. "But I don't want to distract from what the players did today''

The odds seemed to be stacked against the Giants after their midweek trip to London, but they started full of enthusiasm, getting into Hull's faces just as they had done in beating Wigan and Leeds. It took 20 minutes to break the deadlock, with Stanley Gene catching Hull offside and their former player Steve McNamara, landing a 45-yard penalty to give Huddersfield the lead.

From the restart, Chris Chester kicked out on the full and Huddersfield seized their chance. Opting to attack the Hull line rather than kicking for goal again, they went close through Gene before Paul Reilly burrowed over with McNamara's conversion making it an eight-point lead.

Huddersfield were rampant and went further ahead on the half-hour. Ben Roarty, so impressive since arriving from Australia in mid-season, got the ball out of the tackle and McNamara lofted a long pass for Marcus St Hilaire to score in the left corner. McNamara continued his inspiring contribution with a touchline conversion.

Huddersfield could have been out of sight by half-time if Brandon Costin had made the line instead of being penalised for a double movement.

Hull needed a far better effort in the second half and they got off to the right start with a simple try from Garreth Carvell taking the ball at first receiver and finding the sort of gap Huddersfield had not left before the break.

Far from being rattled, the Giants rolled up their sleeves and stepped up the pressure, a brilliant little pass from McNamara sending Paul March over for their third try. Five minutes later, Hefin O'Hare's break found the unlikely figure of Darren Fleary in support for another touchdown. McNamara's two conversions sent Huddersfield clear, but Andy Last got one back for Hull as he refused to be stopped on a driving run.

Paul Cooke's clever kick then produced a try for Colin Best, but any hopes of stealing a result were destroyed by Costin's audacious dummy for a try four minutes from time.

The Hull coach, Shaun McRae, blamed his club's accumulation of injuries for the setback. "There were players out there who shouldn't have played,'' he said. "It was a game we were never going to win.''

Huddersfield: Reilly; O'Hare, Bailey, Costin, St Hilaire; March, Gene; Fleary, Turner, Gannon, Roarty, Whitaker, Bloem. Substitutes used: Cooper, Morrison, Slicker, McNamara.

Hull: R Horne; Best, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Wilkinson; Cooke, G Horne; Greenhill, Last, Dowes, Fletcher, Ryan, Chester. Substitutes used: King, Carvell, Yeaman, Lupton.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).