Konrad Hurrell and Ash Handley both scored twice as Leeds Rhinos humiliated fellow strugglers Huddersfield Giants 0-44 to move two points clear of the foot of the Super League table.
The visitors were the by far the better side throughout the match and blew their hosts with an 18-minute rampage in the first half as Adam Cuthbertson, Tom Briscoe, Brad Dwyer and Konrad Hurrell all crossed to give them a 0-22 lead when the half-time hooter sounded.
Huddersfield came into the game on the back of a crucial win against Hull Kingston Rovers a fortnight prior, but ceased to amaze, or even satisfy, the home crowd as the demolition job continued as Ash Handley finished a fine move for Leeds’ fifth early in the second forty.
Hurrell and Handley both added a second try each either side of Liam Sutcliffe’s score to inflict more misery on the Giants, who remained scoreless.
The once irrepressible Jermaine McGillvary was one of many Huddersfield stars who never got going, unlike his counterpart Briscoe who, despite only crossing once, threatened more throughout the entire eighty minutes.
The win for the Rhinos gives them breathing space in the battle for survival as they leapfrog their opponents into eighth place while the hosts drop to 10th and remain deep in the mire.
The two points, however, will be nowhere near enough to ensure Leeds’ survival, in fact, they may yet have to win a further three matches to secure safety as their rivals have stereotyped “easier” games to come, but such a resounding win will no doubt give the entire squad much needed confidence.
To rub salt in the Giants’ wounds, this is the first time that they have failed to score in a Super League match this season.
Huddersfield are shocking at home
Despite the huge win at Hull KR, the Giants have now won only one of their last four Super League home matches and find themselves still deep in the dogfight. Their home form simply has to improve.
Leeds are capable
No-one saw that coming, not even the most optimistic Rhino, but my word did they need it. All season they have faced the question “are they good enough?”: this match suggests they are.
What next for the Giants?
Having already changed the man at the helm once this season, Huddersfield are likely to do so again, but should they? The games are ticking by – is their time in Super League following suit?
It’s too close to call
Time after time, we try to predict who will be relegated. And time after time, teams put in displays that change our mind. Of course, we won’t know for sure until the final numbers add up, but we may have to wait until the final weekend to find out. I, for one, hope so.
Huddersfield Giants 0
Drop Goals: n/a
Leeds Rhinos 44
Tries: Cuthbertson, Briscoe, Dwyer, Hurrell (2), Handley (2), Sutcliffe
Goals: Martin (6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, I Senior, Wardle, L Senior, Gaskell, Frawley, Walne, Leeming, English, Ta’ai, Mellor, Lawrence.
Replacements: O’Brien, Roberts, Matagi, Murphy.
Leeds Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Lui, Myler, Cuthbertson, Lunt, Seumanufagai, Martin, Ferres, Merrin.
Replacements: Dwyer, Donaldson, Sutcliffe, Singleton.