Huddersfield 25-24 Bradford

Huddersfield Giants 25 nBradford Bulls 24nnA last minute drop goal from Chris Thorman gave Huddersfield a 25-24 victory over Bradford Bulls at the Galpharm stadium.nnThe Bulls began life without Shontayne Hape in excellent style with tries from Michael Platt, Terry Newton, and Andy Lynch put Bradford 16-12 in front going in at the break, with the Giants responding through Rod Jensen and Paul Jackson.nnTries from Thorman and second of the game for Jensen helped Huddersfield finish on top, with Bradford’s only response coming through Simon Finnigan.nnThere were three tries in a lively six minutes, and it was Bradford who got the first points on the board. nnThe ball was played quickly after a big drive from Sam Burgess before Harris sent a cross field kick over to confuse the Giants’ defence and earn a penalty. From the resulting penalty the ball was worked out wide to Platt who played a great line through the defence before going over for a try.nnBut Huddersfield hit back just two minutes later when a loose pass from Harris was intercepted by Jensen. The winger broke away from halfway before going over for a try underneath the sticks. Thorman added the extras to edge the hosts in front.nnBradford soon regained their lead after an excellent break from David Solomona created space for the Bulls. The ball was worked out to Ben Jefferies who found Newton on his right shoulder to cross for a try, which Harris converted.nnThe Bulls should have gone in for a third try but Newton failed to get his hand round the ball properly as an opportunity went begging. nnThe hooker soon had another chance when he chased Semi Tadulala’s kick. Newton and Leroy Cudjoe ran for the loose ball but the Huddersfield man got there first. But Cudjoe was subsequently shown the yellow card as Huddersfield were reduced to 12 men after 22 minutes.nnIt went from bad to worse for the hosts as Huddersfield were reduced to 11 men when Ryan Hudson, who had only just come on as a substitute, was sent to the sin binnnBradford immediately took advantage of the extra men with Lynch powering through for a try after a quick tap penalty. Harris added the extras.nnHuddersfield tried to push forward in the final stages of the first half and were rewarded with their second try of the match. A good break from Danny Kirmond combined with excellent support play from Jackson allowed the prop to slide over for a try. Thorman slotted over the conversion to cut the gap to just four points before halftime.nnThe Giants came out more positive in the second half putting the Bulls under a lot of pressure in the early stages. The Giants twice got over the try line but on both occasions were unable to get the downward pressure on the grounding.nnHuddersfield were handed another advantage when James Evans was sent to the sin bin, but the Giants failed to turn pressure into points and were soon made to pay the price.nnA high kick from Jefferies caught the Giants’ defence ball watching, as the ball bounced up into the arms of Finnigan who ran in for a try, which Harris converted.nnThe Giants push forward with Kevin Brown running deep into the Bradford half only for the move to be ended by a forward pass.nnBut Huddersfield were handed another lifeline when Jefferies was sent to the sin bin as Bradford were reduced to 12 men. The Giants again pushed forward towards the Bradford line, but the Bulls defence held strong to keep them out.nnGood running from Dave Halley could have seen the Bulls move further ahead, only for the winger to be dragged into touch metres from the line by a determined Huddersfield defence, much to the frustration of the supporting Paul Sykes.nnThe hosts refused to give up, and when Thorman ran in for and converted a try, to cut the gap to four points and ensure the game was set for a tense final 15 minutes. nnHuddersfield were again denied by the lack of downward pressure as Bradford were forced into a dropout with just seven minutes left on the clock.nnBut the Giants kept battling on and Jensen wrong footed the Bradford defence before running in for his second try of the match with just two minutes left to play. Thorman slotted over the conversion to edge Huddersfield in front in the dying minutes.nnThe tension continued as Harris converted a last minute penalty to level the scores at 24-24.nnBut the drama was still not over as the Giants completed the comeback with a late drop goal from Thorman.nnBy Joseph VerneynnHuddersfield Giants 25nT – Jensen (7,78), Jackson (38), Thorman (64)nG – Thorman (8,39,65,79)nDG – Thorman (80)nnBradford Bulls 24nT – Platt (5), Newton (10), Lynch (27), Finnigan (49)nG – Harris (11,28,50,80)nDG – nnHT – 12-16nFT – 25-24nAttendance – 10,786

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