Huddersfield Giants climbed out of the bottom four in Super League with a deserved 29-18 home win over Hull FC.
Hull were dominant early on, getting their best chance on the back of three consecutive penalties close to the Huddersfield line. Jake Connor put a grubber in with Albert Kelly chasing, but he couldn’t ground before the ball went dead as confirmed by the video referee.
The Giants punished them as they got the first points of the game. Danny Brough played the pass to Daniel Smith, who was running a great line to go through the defence and score under the posts.
FC were soon back level though, as Connor’s offload allowed them to move the ball right and Kelly put a grubber into the right corner for Bureta Faraimo to touch down unchallenged.
Two tries in four minutes then put Huddersfield in control, with the first coming from Lee Gaskell’s grubber kick which bounced kindly for Aaron Murphy to score.
They kept the momentum and after a great carry downfield from Jermaine McGillvary, Jordan Rankin smartly sidestepped Kelly to run in for a third Giants try. Brough had converted all three and he added a drop goal in the final minute of the half to put the hosts 13 points up at the break.
Things were even better for them eleven minutes into the second half, as a good passing move from one edge to the other saw Darnell McIntosh played into the left corner.
There was an instant response from Hull though, as the short kick-off was knocked on by Huddersfield and Hakim Miloudi forced his way over to reduce the deficit.
The Black and Whites hardly got a look in from there though, as the Giants smartly played the game out. The next try went to them with eight minutes to go to seal the win, with McIntosh speeding into the corner for his second after some very quick hands.
Danny Houghton crashed over for a late Hull consolation, but their top four hopes took a big dint as the evening rightly belonged to the Giants.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Giants full of confidence
If Simon Woolford can be credited with one thing since his move to Huddersfield, it is giving a side found languishing at the bottom of the table the belief that they can play.
That should never have been in doubt after last year’s top eight finish but they lost their way at the start of the year under Rick Stone, not helped by a damaging injury list.
With big players back and confidence there to see as well, the Giants have won six of their last seven Super League games. The forward pack in particular looks rejuvenated, and absolutely dominated the usually formidable Hull pack.
Hull’s top four hopes look over
Hull FC moved within three points of the top four after struggling to the win over Widnes last week, but they far worse this week and deserved to be roundly beaten.
The pack was overpowered, handling errors were rife and no player was able to take control of the game and make something happen, culminating in a very poor performance.
With the top sides all looking in much better shape, this might be the week that Hull’s hopes of a third consecutive top four appearance can be considered over.
Man of the Match – Danny Brough
There were plenty of impressive performances in the Giants pack but their scrum-half showed all his experience to lead his side to victory.
He was the main influence in the first half and their first try came from his great assist, and after building up their lead his kicking was superb to see the game out.
Huddersfield Giants 29
Tries: Smith, Murphy, Rankin, McIntosh (2)
Goals: Brough (4)
Drop Goals: Brough
Hull FC 18
Tries: Faraimo, Miloudi, Houghton
Goals: Connor (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield: Rankin; McGillvary, Gaskell, Wardle, McIntosh; Turner, Brough; Ta’ai, O’Brien, Lawrence; Mellor, Murphy, Smith.
Interchanges: Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Roberts, Clough.
Hull FC: Miloudi; Faraimo, Scott, Tuimavave, Logan; Kelly, Connor; Paea, Houghton, Taylor; Hadley, Minichiello, Green.
Interchanges: Washbrook, Fash, Downs, Matongo.
Referee: Robert Hicks