Huddersfield 40-12 Crusaders

A sparkling hat-trick from David Hodgson was the highlight of this routine win for Huddersfield Giants as they ran in seven tries in the last game at their temporary home in Halifax to keep up the heat on Warrington and Wigan.

For Crusaders it was another disappointing effort and could have been worse but for an outstanding first half from Jordan Tansey. The former Leeds and Hull utility back started at fullback for the Crusaders and prevented at least three tries being scored in a one sided first half.

The Giants were unlucky not to open the score in the second minute when a fine grubber kick from Kevin Brown just went dead ahead of Tansey and Scott Grix.

With Huddersfield in attack mode, it wasn’t long before the Giants were threatening again as Luke Robinson and Brown combined for David Fa’alogo to go under the posts.

Debutant Gregg McNally has had to be patient and wait for his Super League bow but the Cumbrian, called up to play fullback hit the first of six goals in a solid opening.

Next, a juggernaut run from Darrell Griffin took all the strength from Tansey to stop and the fullback was on hand to prevent another score when Brown’s pass saw Joe Wardle stride clear just after the Crusaders conceded their second try.

Wardle scored Huddersfield’s second try after Grix grubbered through and Crusaders were rarely in the game in the opening quarter.

A big score looked on the cards for the Giants when Brown stepped through from close range after 23 minutes but to the visitors credit, they began to fight back with Hep Cahill and Jason Chan leading the way.

As the half wore on, the visitors began to make more yards with Michael Witt and Tansey combining well although the unpredictable Jarrod Sammut failed to fire at halfback.

Witt forced a drop out with a good kick but Huddersfield held their line intact until the interval.

With the words of Iestyn Harris ringing in their ears, Crusaders started the second half much better and claimed a superb try as the ball went through several hands after Gareth Thomas smuggled the pass out before he went into touch. It resulted in Witt cleverly dummying and then passing over the head of Leroy Cudjoe and Tony Martin ran to the corner. Witt goaled from the touchline and was on the mark a couple of minutes later when Cahill slipped a super pass out of a tackle and Martin dashed 45 metres to touch down.

Crusaders were back in the game but it was Huddersfield that were next on the scoreboard when Grix kicked to the in-goal area and  the ball pinged about before Hodgson grounded the first of his treble.

Leading 22-12, Huddersfield went for the kill with Hodgson and Robinson posing problems. One such raid from Robinson was halted illegally by Richard Moore and the former Bradford, London, Leigh and Wakefield forward was sinbinned by referee Steve Ganson.

Almost immediately, the Giants took advantage when Cudjoe flicked a pass out for Hodgson to go in at the left corner. McNally goaled and despite isolated spells of pressure from Crusaders, Huddersfield hit their visitors again with ten minutes remaining when Hodgson finished superbly in the corner.

Worse was to come for the Crusaders when alert work by Kyle Wood paved the way for Michael Lawrence to surge over and McNally rounded off his day with the sixth goal to make it 40-12.

There was late concern for Kevin Brown when he was hit after the siren in launching a clearing kick. Cahill was sinbinned for Crusaders and Brown was treated for a full eight minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.

Huddersfield Assistant Coach Paul Anderson later admitted the withdrawal of Brown in such a manner was purely precautionary.

“”He’s fine. Nothing is broken. It was all protocol and precautions. Medical staff did their job and he’s now having a laugh and joke with everyone else in the changing room.”

GIANTS
28 Gregg McNally
20 Jermaine McGillvary
29 Joe Wardle
3 Leroy Cudjoe
5 David Hodgson
6 Kevin Brown (C)
1 Scott Grix
12 David Fa’alogo
9 Luke Robinson
10 Darrell Griffin
37 Dale Ferguson
2 Michael Lawrence
11 Luke O’Donnell
SUBS
8 Eorl Crabtree
18 Larne Patrick
15 Keith Mason
23 Kyle Wood

Tries: Fa’alogo, Wardle, Brown, Hodgson 3, Lawrence.
Goals: McNally 6/7.

CRUSADERS
27 Jordan Tansey
5 Stuart Reardon
2 Gareth Thomas
3 Tony Martin
4 Vince Mellars
6 Michael Witt
7 Jarrod Sammut
16 Ben Flower
9 Lincoln Withers
8 Ryan O’Hara
13 Frank Winterstein
12 Jason Chan
11 Hep Cahill
SUBS
10 Mark Bryant
15 Jordan James
22 Richard Moore
18 Elliot Kear

Tries: Martin 2.
Goals: Witt 2/2.
Sinbinned: Moore (60), Cahill (80)

Attendance: 4892
Referee: Steve Ganson
Penalties: 20-7
Half-time: 18-0

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