17 Feb 2024

GIANTS TAKE TWO POINTS IN ROUND ONE | MATCH REPORT

Huddersfield Giants opened their 2024 Betfred Super League account with a battling 8-16 victory at Leigh Sports Village.

Ian Watson named numerous debutants in his starting team this evening in Leigh, with off-season signings Elliot Wallis, Jack Murchie, Adam Clune and Adam Swift all starting the game.

Both sides started at 100%, as you’d expect no less with this being round one, but the Giants would strike first after some superb defence to keep the Leopards out at the other end.

Olly Russell sent a high kick into the air, and there was Jake Connor to tap the ball back to Esan Marsters who crossed for our first try of the 2024 campaign, Olly Russ adding the extras to make it 0-6.

After some incessant Leigh pressure, their new signing Matt Moylan would dribble a kick into the corner, Josh Charnley winning the race to score, after a similar effort was denied by the bunker earlier on.

Zak Hardaker couldn’t convert, and this left the Giants in-front.

The two sides would then struggle to keep their discipline, as penalties and knock-ons were the order of the evening, before the Giants broke downfield through a Kevin Naiqama break.

Bang on the Leigh line, Adam Swift looked to scramble out of dummy-half, only to be stopped by John Asiata who was sin-binned for a professional foul, Adam Milner extending our lead soon after.

He burrowed his way over for a typical hookers’ try, Olly Russ pinpoint as ever and this is how the scores would stay going into the break, 4-12.

There was some late pressure from Adrian Lam’s men, after successive sets on the Giants line, but they couldn’t find the try after a knock-on from O’Brien.

After the break, Leigh continued in messy form, with knock-ons and penalties, which disrupted the opening minutes and gave Giants relative ease in defence, however they still had to stand tall and battle, which they did, Leroy Cudjoe and Jack Murchie particularly impressing.

Then, as the game wore on, former Giant Ricky Leutele was shown yellow for a challenge on Jake Connor which saw the latter fail his HIA, however this only spurred on Leigh, and during this period, the Giants, through Chris Hill, Sam Hewitt and Ash Golding who had stepped in at full-back, repelled the charge.

A smart move, in a rare attack saw Adam Clune and Ashton Golding combine, sending Elliot Wallis diving in at the corner for his first professional try as a Giant.

Tom Briscoe did pull a consolation try back for Leigh late on, but it was to be opening day delight for Huddersfield and Ian Watson, with an 8-16 victory at Leigh Sports Village.

Full-Time | Leigh Leopards 8-16 Huddersfield Giants

TRIES

Marsters, Milner, Wallis

GOALS

Russell 2/3

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