27 Oct 2019
Lucky Seven: Greatest Huddersfield Giants Games
As we countdown to Seat Renewal Day, we look at 7 of the greatest Huddersfield RLFC games
HULL KR 22-23 HUDDERSFIELD (24th September 2016)
The 2016 regular season was one to forget for the Giants fans but with the middle 8’s system, the fight wasn’t over. After losses to both Salford and Leigh, the fight to stay in Super League was well in the balance.
In a game that almost made this list, Huddersfield got a crucial win against rivals Leeds in round 6 of 7, which meant that going into the last game of the middle 8’s, it was a straight shootout between Hull KR and ourselves. The winners would claim Super League survival, the losers however were in the dreaded Million Pound Game.
After cruising to a 22 point to 4 lead, few would have expected such a frantic final ten minutes. When Hull KR levelled the scores at 22all, it was over to Danny Brough to tick the Giants ahead on the scoreline with less than 9 minutes remaining. Hull KR’s drop-goal attempt hit the post, and with just 2 minutes left Hull KR went over the tryline but it was called back after referee Robert Hicks spotted a push off the ball by Terry Campese. A tight win, and a crucial one for the Giants, meant another season in the country’s elite division.
HUDDERSFIELD 24-22 WAKEFIELD (9th September 2007)
By the 9th, before kick-off in the penultimate game of the 2007 season, there were four sides still battling for the final two play-off places. Knowing Warrington had lost two days prior, and aware that Wigan had a winnable fixture away at Hull KR, the Giants took on Wakefield in a play-off placement bout where a win would guarantee a play-off spot, but a loss would throw it wide open.
At half-time the game looked uncomfortable for the Giants, as they sat 8 points down with the dream of a first ever Super League play-off appearance fading away.
John Kear, the master of upsets, knew his team needed to see out the victory to have a slim chance at reaching the play-offs, but it wasn’t to be his day, as a stunning and vital comeback saw the Cowbell Army all the way to the play-offs in a fine 24-22 victory. Chris Thorman’s penalty conversion the only thing separating the sides at full time.
HUDDERSFIELD 9-5 WARRINGTON (26th April 1913)
Come 1913, the birthplace of rugby league was still yet to see the famous challenge cup trophy settled in Fartown, but that was all to change as the era of Huddersfield dominance began.
The famous 13 included international names and war heroes such as Fred Longstaff, Harold Wagstaff and Douglas Clark, and it was those names that helped finally lift the famous trophy at Headingley.
That season was one of great triumph for the side, not only winning the Challenge Cup but also securing the League title and Yorkshire League - only the Yorkshire Cup slipped through their grasps that season.
ST. HELENS 14-24 HUDDERSFIELD (9th August 2009)
A return to the Challenge Cup final was on the cards but to get there, they had to stop a hot St. Helens side that weren’t going to let go easily. In hindsight the game seems to be more controlled that it would’ve felt but some expert performances put Huddersfield over the line, and a return to Wembley was finally on the cards.
Sometimes it is a team game and sometimes it’s a game for heroes, and this one was definitely the latter with Brett Hodgson playing one of the finest games the English competitions have ever seen. With tries, passes and crucial tackles aplenty.
The performance was encapsulated in a 60 second period where Hodgson dealt with a poor pass on his own line, was left on the floor moments later after a hard hit from Paul Wellens and from the restart ran across the pitch to deny a certain Kyle Eastmond try. A day in the sunshine that ended with smiles for the Claret and Gold, and a Wembley date in the calendars for all the fans.
WIGAN 12-30 HUDDERSFIELD (9th August 2013)
Round 24 was on hand, and with only four games remaining, Huddersfield were in a place that not many would have predicted - TOP. However, there was still one big test, a trip to fellow Old Trafford hopefuls, Wigan Warriors.
Knowing that games against London, Wakefield and Hull KR followed, a win at the DW Stadium meant that winning all three against the lower sides would see the trophy come to Huddersfield for the first time - in hindsight after Widnes’ shock win against rivals Warrington, only two wins would be required.
Huddersfield knew exactly what they had to do, shut out top try scorers Charnley and Tomkins, and score points, and although Charnely did cross for the homeside, the Giants went on to win comfortably. Wigan only mustered 12 points on the night and second half tries from Murphy, Grix and Ferres stopped the Cherry and White outfit in their tracks and sent the Giants on the way to League Leaders glory.
LEEDS 12-30 HUDDERSFIELD (30th July 2006)
2006 wasn’t going as planned for the Giants and a mid-table finish was on the cards in Super League, with chances of making the play-offs slim. But in the Challenge Cup, things started to get interesting as the Giants lined up a return to the final for the first time since 1962.
Having already seen off Halifax, York and Salford, Huddersfield were rewarded with the big one, a derby game against Leeds Rhinos, in the semi-finals. The game took place at other local rivals Bradford, in a celebration of West Yorkshire rugby.
It looked to be a potentially long day for the Giants when Scott Donald crossed first and Super League’s 2nd place side took an early lead. But in short, that is the polar opposite to how it turned out. Huddersfield took the game by the scruff of the neck and walked away comfortable winners to claim their final spot, in emphatic style.
HUDDERSFIELD 14-5 WAKEFIELD (19TH MAY 1962)
On the 12th May 1962, Huddersfield face Wakefield in the Challenge Cup final. The latter finished second in the Championship table and went in as favourites. On that day, as the 12-6 scoreline suggests, the game could have gone either way but the deserved winners were Wakefield.
One week on, the sides faced each other in another final. Quite surprisingly Huddersfield made it to the final after a shock victory over League Leaders Wigan, and looked set to take another scalp. Wakefield on the other hand will have been smelling blood after their Challenge Cup triumph of the previous week.
But it was to be revenge that won this one as Huddersfield took the game to Wakefield and came out 14-5 winners, which stopped the Wakefield side from collecting all four trophies and sparked celebrations for the Fartown faithful.