14 Feb 2020

Giants survive Valentine's Day test

Huddersfield Giants 12-10 Salford Red Devils

After last week’s enforced weather absence the Giants were back in Betfred Super League action with a trip across the Pennines to the A J Bell Stadium to take on last season’s beaten Grand Finalists Salford Red Devils. 

The only change in the Giants side to the team which was selected to play Leeds Rhinos in the postponed fixture which fell victim to the weather was Jordan Turner for the injured Jake Wardle. Conditions were very soggy underfoot but the rain had dried up but wind was also a problem.

With the Giants spilling early possession Salford took advantage to force 2 goal line drop outs but the Giants defence held firm, Aidan Sezer’s tackle on Sio in the right corner saving a Salford try. At the other end a Sezer kick forced a goal line drop out for the Giants but the home side were having the bulk of possession and field position. 

When they did cross the Giants line the video referee ruled out a score. On 17 minutes the Giants took the lead, Adam O’Brien scampering over by the posts catching the defence off guard, Aidan Sezer adding the extras. 7 minutes later after consecutive sets of tackles Salford got on the score sheet with a Sio trio on the right, the conversion failing.

Lee Gaskell went close for the Giants before half time but there were no further scores and the hooter sounded with the Giants 2 points to the good . It had been an untidy half in the heavy conditions with the Giants defence standing out.

Salford started the second half strongly, a Kevin Brown kick forcing Jordan Turner to push the ball dead for a goal line drop out. On 46 minutes Dan Sarginson cut through the Giants defence on the left for a try, converted by Lolohea to put the Red Devils 4 points to the good but the lead did not last long.   

On 54 minutes in a spell of Giants pressure a long floated Aidan Sezer pass to the left gave Louis Senior the chance to scorch down the wing for a try which levelled the scores, the goal kick failing. 

A Lolohea drop goal attempt on 72 sailed wide as both teams strove for a winning score with time running out. The game finished dramatically. With the Giants pressing Kevin Brown tangled with Jordan Turner and was sent to the sin-bin with 6 minutes left. 

Then with 3 minutes to go Salford got offside and Aidan Sezer kicked the goal which put the Giants in front by 2 points which is how it stayed to the final hooter despite a final run down the right by Sio which the Giants managed to diffuse.

The Giants had somehow managed to grind out a win despite not being at their best. Their unbeaten start to the season remained intact but they will be looking for improvement next time out which is next Friday 21 February at Hull KR kick off 7.45pm.


Teams: 

Salford Red Devils: Evalds; Sio, Welham, Sarginson, Williams; Lolohea, Brown; Mossop, Jones, Johnson,Greenwood, McCarthy, Burke

Interchanges: Lannon, Pauli, Yates, Lussick

Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, Wood, Turner, L Senior; Gaskell, Sezer: English, O’Brien, Matagi, Murphy, Wardle, Lawrence

Interchanges: Clough, Gavet, Edwards, Ta’ai

Referee: James Child 

HT: Salford Red Devils 4 Giants 6

FT: Salford Red Devils 10  Giants 12 

Scorers: 

Salford Red Devils: Tries: Sio. Sarginson

Goal: Lolohea

Giants: Tries: O’Brien, L Senior

Goals: Sezer (2) 

Penalties conceded:  Salford Red Devils 7  Giants 6

Goal line drop outs conceded: Salford Red Devils 3 Giants 3 

Weather: Damp

Temperature: 9C 

Attendance: 3350

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