Huddersfield pick up crucial win to dent Salford play-off hopes

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Huddersfield picked up a much needed win to ease their relegation concerns and dent Salford’s play-off hopes.

They recovered from a 8-0 deficit to pick up a 36-18 win, their first since hammering Hull at the Magic Weekend.

It lifts them two points above the bottom three and to within two points of Salford, who will now be nervously looking over the shoulder in what is becoming a thrilling Super League season.

Salford got off to the perfect start, getting on the board inside three minutes as off the back of a routine carry, Tyrone McCarthy managed to wriggle out of three defenders to stretch over the line.

A lengthy stoppage came on nine minutes as Giants hooker Adam O’Brien was stretchered off, not to return on the night, and within five minutes of that, Salford scored their second try.

Both Krisnan Inu and Joey Lussick had been held up in-goal before the pressure eventually told as a long pass found Ken Sio in the corner.

For much of the first half, Salford were on top and they will have been disappointed to have only led 8-0 and it proved costly.

Huddersfield got on the board on 29 minutes, Matty English finding the whitewash under the attention of a couple of defenders, and though there did appear to be some doubt over whether it had broken the line when referred upstairs to the video referee, ultimately the on-field decision had to stick.

That got the visitors’ tails up and they would go in to half time with a surprise 10-8 lead, the Innes Senior going over in the corner off a sharp Tom Holmes pass.

The crucial first score of the second half went to Huddersfield, Darnell McIntosh climbing highest to take Lee Gaskell’s kick and they wouldn’t surrender their lead from there on in.

Salford did hit back through Kris Welham, a missed conversion leaving them two short at 14-12, but Huddersfield seized the initiative shortly before the hour mark when Kruise Leeming won the race to ground his own kick just before the dead ball line.

Some ordinary goalkicking featured in the match, with just one of the first seven tries converted, and Gaskell hit the post with his attempt from Leeming’s try to leave the match still poised at 18-12.

But Huddersfield backed up that score with another through Ukuma Ta’ai, and as time wore on, it looked like they were setting up for a one-pointer, only for the ball to be shifted left by Holmes again, and this time Jake Wardle was able to stretch and put the ball on the line.

Although McCarthy’s second gave Salford some feint hope, at 30-18 it was too tall of an order and they fell to their first home Super League defeat since Wigan in April.

McIntosh would wrap things up with his second late on off a Gaskell break to seal a vital Giants victory.

Salford: Evalds, Johnson, Inu, Welham, Sio, Lolohea, Hastings, Nakubuwai, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Lannon, McCarthy. Subs: Flanagan, Tomkins, Bibby, Burke.

Tries: McCarthy 2, Sio, Welham. Goals: Inu.

Huddersfield: McIntosh, McGillvary, L Senior, Wardle, I Senior, Gaskell, Holmes, Clough, O’Brien, Ikahihifo, Ta’ai, Mellor, Murphy. Subs: Leeming, English, Wilson, Lawrence.

Tries: English, I Senior, McIntosh 2, Leeming, Ta’ai, Jake Wardle. Goals: Gaskell, McIntosh 3.