Hardaker hat-trick inspires Leeds

A Zak Hardaker hat-trick inspired Leeds to a 34-28 victory over Huddersfield this evening despite a spirited comeback attempt by the Giants late on.

The Rhinos victory means they go into the pot for Warrington’s club call decision on Sunday, whilst it is the end of the campaign for the Giants.

Leeds took the lead early on after winger Ben Jones-Bishop touched down in the corner after Weller Hauraki off-loaded with two men on him.

Fellow winger Hardaker extended the lead after Brent Webb broke clear, passed to the supporting McGuire who then threw out a long ball to Hardaker to score in the corner. Sinfield added the extras to put the Rhinos 10-0 in the lead.

The winger grabbed his second try after 23 minutes when Jermaine McGillvary failed to collect a Kevin Sinfield high bomb kick, allowing Hardaker to pick the ball up and touch down. Sinfield successfully adding the two point conversion.

The hosts got on the score sheet after 34 minutes when Danny Brough broke through the line to give the Giants excellent field position. From the resulting play, Scott Grix stepped passed the Leeds defence to score under the sticks. Brough adding the extra two points which left the half time score at 16-6 to the Rhinos.

Huddersfield started the second half well by scoring through Dale Ferguson after just three minutes. Brough adding the extras to bring the Giants to within four points.

The Rhinos hit back on 52 minutes when Hardaker made a break and passed to Brent Webb who touched down under the sticks, Sinfield converting.

Hardaker extended the lead for Leeds and grabbed his hat-trick two minutes later after breaking the line before stepping past Grix to score under the sticks. Sinfield extending the lead to 28-6 by successfully converting.

The Rhinos scored again minutes later when Mcguire broke through the line, passed to Jones-Buchanan who gave a short ball to Webb who scored by the posts with Sinfield again converting.

The Giants got back on the scoresheet after a lovely out the back door flick pass by Joe Wardle to David Fa’alogo to allow the second-rower to touch down.

The hosts scored again soon after when Grix latched onto the end of a Kevin Brown which which hit the post before finding its way to the Giants full back to score. Brough converted to put Huddersfield two converted tried behind.

With just 5 minutes remaining, the Giants capitalised on Brent Webb‘s knock on when Fa’alogo crashed over from short range from the resulting scrum. Brough converted well to put the Giants within touching distance of the Rhinos.

Despite late pressure on the Leeds line, the Giants couldn’t find their way over the line again to leave the final score at Huddersfield 28-34 Leeds.

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