Leeds Rhinos 48-16 Huddersfield Giants
Leeds 48 (22)
Tries: Watkins (2), Hall (2), Aiton, McGuire, Cuthbertson, Ablett
Goals: Sinfield (8)
Huddersfield 16 (4)
Tries: Wood, Ferres, Grix
Goals: Brough (2)
Holders Leeds progressed through to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup with a comfortable 48-16 win over Huddersfield.
A brace of tries from Kallum Watkins as well as scores from Ryan Hall and Paul Aiton gave the Rhinos a commanding 22-0 lead inside the opening quarter, with Kyle Wood responding for Huddersfield just before the break.
Further scores in the second half from Danny McGuire, Adam Cuthbertson, Carl Ablett and Hall’s second try of the afternoon sealed the victory, with Brett Ferres and Scott Grix adding consolation tries at the end for the Giants.
Super League leaders Leeds had failed to win their last three games but got off to an explosive start which Huddersfield never recovered from.
Centre Kallum Watkins picked up Scott Grix’s loose offload on 7 minutes before running 80 metres to open the scoring.
The England international added his second moments to take the score to 12-0 following successful conversions from Kevin Sinfield.
Leeds winger Ryan Hall returned to the side following a five-match absence with a fractured wrist and scored his first try of the game on 16 minutes after squeezing past Jermaine McGillvary in the corner following a slick passing move out wide from the Rhinos.
Huddersfield were in free fall and when Leroy Cudjoe failed to deal with Danny McGuire’s kick into the in-ball area on 20 minutes, Paul Aiton pounced to extend Leeds’ lead to 22-0.
The two sides had met in the league a fortnight ago; a game which finished in a draw despite Leeds leading 22-6 at the interval. When Kyle Wood went over for Huddersfield just before the break, there was still hope for the Giants that they could repeat the heroics of two weeks ago.
Leeds however were not going to surrender their advantage this time round and continued their dominance of the match in the second period.
Danny McGuire gathered Hall’s offload to score 10 minutes after the break before Adam Cuthbertson extended their advantage by powering his way past fellow prop Craig Huby to go over.
Hall added his second try moments later following good link-up play with McGuire and Joel Moon out wide.
Huddersfield did hit back through tries from the returning Brett Ferres and full-back Grix with Danny Brough playing an instrumental role in both.
It was too little too late for the Giants though and Carl Ablett’s try with three minutes remaining took the final scoreline to an emphatic 48-16 victory for the home side.
Leeds are now just three wins away from back-to-back success in the Cup whereas Huddersfield’s focus now switches back to the league and securing a top-eight finish.