Lewis Senior scored four tries as Huddersfield Giants put in one of their best performances of 2019 to beat Catalans Dragons and secure their Super League status for 2020 in the process.
A late Jermaine McGillvary try was enough to turn the tide and tie up the two points after Senior’s heroics, which actually became somewhat irrelevant as Wakefield Trinity beat bottom side London Broncos 19-10 to condemn the away side to an immediate return to the Betfred Championship.
Four teams – Wakefield, Huddersfield, Hull KR and London – were in danger of relegation on the final night of the regular season with only two points separating them all.
Whilst London lost at Wakefield, Hull KR threw away a 10-16 lead away at Salford to lose 17-16 – it was the second time the East Hull side have lost to the Devils via golden point time.
Senior opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but that and his second crossing midway through the first half were cancelled out by Lewis Tierney’s brace for Catalans.
And the visitors went into the break 10-14 ahead thanks to six points from Sam Tomkins’ boot.
Arthur Mourgue then extended their advantage as it look like Huddersfield would have to rely on Wakefield to save them, but 19-year-old Senior scored two more brilliant tries before Jermaine McGillvary did what he does best to win it for the Giants with little over five minutes left.
Huddersfield dug deep
Not many sides would have been able to claw their way back from a twelve-point deficit against a quality Catalans side, but Huddersfield knew the importance of the two points and were never going to give up the fight.
It’s a big summer for Catalans
The French side had seven regular starters missing at the John Smith’s Stadium and with Tony Gigot departing in the close season, a summer of vast recruitment may be in order
And perhaps an even bigger one for Huddersfield
Too many players failed to show up in important games for the Giants in 2019. To be in a relegation fight was a surprise for most, but the writing was on the wall for a long time. If they want to avoid a repeat scenario in 2020, some players will have to be shipped and some quality talents will have to come in.
Senior is a talent
And they already have one in Lewis Senior. The teenager stepped up when no one else did to save his side from a defeat which could have sent them down. Granted, McGillvary got the winning try, but Senior’s four scores made that possible. He’s one they’ll be desperate to keep hold of.
Huddersfield Giants 24
Tries: Senior (4), McGillvary
Goals: Wardle, Gaskell
Tries: Tierney (2), Mourgue
Goals: Tomkins (5)
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, L. Senior, J. Wardle, Murphy, McGillvary, Gaskell, Frawley, Matagi, O’Brien, Clough, Mellor, Ta’ai, Ikahihifo.
Interchanges: Leeming, Kirby, Wilson, Butler.
Catalans Dragons: Tomkins, Brochon, Romano, Jullien, Tierney, Albert, Mourgue, Bousquet, McIlorum, Maria, Bird, Garcia, Baitieri.
Interchanges: Simon, Da Costa, Goudemand, Belmas.
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).