Huddersfield Giants: Tries: Jodie Broughton, Aaron Murphy, Luke Robinson. Goals: Brough: 2/4.
Catalan Dragons: Tries: Daryl Millard, Michael Oldfield, Ben Pomeroy. Goals: Thomas Bosc: 3/4.
Catalan Dragons will play their first Super League play-off semi-final since 2009 after a tense 18-16 away victory over Huddersfield Giants on Friday night.
Jodie Broughton opened the scoring for the Giants early on before Daryl Millard levelled things up at 4-4 on 12 minutes. A try for both Michael Oldfield and Aaron Murphy saw the scores level once more. Luke Robinson thought he had won it for the Giants with 18 to go but Ben Pomeroy’s effort, combined with Thoas Bosc’s crucial conversion, with ten minutes left proved decisive as the men from France ran out 18-16 winners.
St. Helens, who selected Catalans on the basis of the final ever ‘ClubCall’ decision, handed Warrington – who overcame Castleford on Thursday, a visit to holders, Wigan.
Laurent Frayssinous’ side have had a difficult route to the knock-out semis, kicking off with a similarly dramatic away win over Leeds, and now Huddersfield. The Giants came into the knock-out stage on the back of a run of seven games unbeaten, and with Catalans recording just four regular season wins away from the Stade Gilbert Brutus, the Giants were favourites. And the hosts went ahead when Broughton was put in on the left, but the Franchmen battled back with an equalising try from Millard which was built on an impressive offload from Vincent Duport.
Three scores were chalked off by the video referee during an intense first 40, but Oldfield’s spectacular finish restored the visitors’ lead. Joe Wardle then burst through the line for Huddersfield, splitting the Dragons’ defence before feeding Aaron Murphy, a score which forced momentum into their favour.
However, the Dragons held firm to keep themselves level going into half time. Bosc kicked for two from a penalty to give Catalans a slim advantage soon after the break, and another decision from the video referee denied the Giants a chance to go ahead when Broughton went the length of the field after it was adjudged that Wardle obstructed Elliott Whitehead in chasing a high ball.
Then Louis Anderson crossed for Catalan soon after but his effort was wiped off and when Danny Brough’s kick was finished off by half-back parter, Robinson it looked like the home side would go on to progress. However, the Dragons dug deep for the second week in succession and had the last word.
It was former Cronulla man Ben Pomeroy who finished off some slick interplay from a chip kick and French international stand off, Bosc kept his composure to add the pivotal extras and book a well-earned semi final berth.
WeLoveLeague Man of the Match: Thomas Bosc.