Leeds 13-12 Huddersfield: Luke Gale drop goal does it again

Konrad Hurrell (4) of Leeds Rhinos scores the try.

Leeds inflicted another one-point defeat on luckless Huddersfield as Luke Gale’s drop goal sealed a 13-12 win at St Helens.

In a game that didn’t finish until 10.30pm due to the extra time in the preceding game and a long delay following an injury to Adam O’Brien, the Rhinos once again came out on top – little over a month since they stunned the Giants with a comeback to win 27-26.

Though their comeback wasn’t quite as dramatic as the one in that game, they still turned things around from a 10-0 half-time deficit to defy the pre-match distractions that saw them without seven players, all stood down due to coronavirus protocols.

Matty English opened the scoring for the Giants on four minutes before being sinbinned 10 minutes later, after the Giants were pegged for repeat offending.

O’Brien was stretchered off after a failed attempt to burrow over the line from dummy half following a lengthy stoppage, which also saw referee Scott Mikalauskas replaced by James Child having lost his voice.

Two Oliver Russell penalties increased the Giants lead, and though they refused a couple of other chances in between, they will have been pleased with their lead as the rain teemed down.

Leeds got back in the contest five minutes in to the second half, Konrad Hurrell the beneficiary of a scrappy last tackle play and when Tom Briscoe walked in on 56 minutes, Luke Gale’s conversion had the Rhinos 12-10 up.

Russell’s third penalty of the evening squared things up, before Gale missed a penalty moments after the Rhinos had a try disallowed by the video referee.

Gale then missed a drop goal before Robert Lui saved a try at the other end, and then Aiden Sezer missed the Giants’ first attempt at a one-pointer.

With five minutes to play, a knock-on by Darnell McIntosh gifted Leeds field position, and Gale took advantage, replicating the drop goal that led the Rhinos to glory at Headingley last month.

Ashton Golding’s try saving tackle kept the Giants in it, but they struggled to get back up the pitch, and they suffered their third one-point defeat in five outings since the restart.

Leeds: Myler, Briscoe, Newman, Sutcliffe, Handley, Lui, Gale, Seumanufagai, Leeming, Cuthbertson, Thompson, Sutcliffe, Oledzki. Subs: Dwyer, Ferres, Donaldson, Hurrell.

Huddersfield: Golding, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, McIntosh, Russell, Sezer, English, O’Brien, Lawrence, Edwards, Wardle, McQueen. Subs: Holmes, Hewitt, Wilson, Gavet.

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