31 May 2024

GIANTS BACK TO WINNING WAYS OVER HULL FC

Huddersfield Giants secured a much needed two points vs Hull FC as they defeated the black and whites 24-18.

Both teams came into tonight’s clash following runs of bad form - the Giants without a win in their last five games, and Hull FC with only a singular Super League win of the season on their record.

Expectedly, the game began cagily, as both sides aimed to grasp early control of the game. The Giants looked to have been doing so, as Tui Lolohea broke through the visitors’ line. His offload to Naiqama was good, but the powering centre’s run resulted in him spilling the ball.

The hosts then did a fantastic job of regaining their momentum after this, as a crucial interception deep in their own territory led to a set that got the Giants to the opposite end of the field. A high kick on play six was fumbled by Logan Moy, which gave the Giants a perfect opportunity to strike. 

The chance was taken superbly, as the home side swiftly shifted the ball wide to Jake Bibby, who beat his opposing number, Harvey Barron, effortlessly and got over the line in the corner for his 4th try of the Super League season. The conversion from Russell was a sweet one, and the Giants’ bright start had secured them a 6-0 lead.

Domination by the Giants was continued, as Hull FC struggled to gain significant yards, and became trapped within their own half. An array of Lolohea high kicks piled the pressure on the travelling side, who looked nervy.

Eventually a moment of brilliance looked on the cards for Hull FC, as Reynolds chipped over the top in impressive fashion, however to his misfortune, the subsequent pass was intercepted crucially by Esan Marsters, who kept his side’s clean sheet active.

Shortly after, the Giants appeared to have doubled their try-tally, when Adam Clune dived on top of a Lolohea kick beyond the posts. Despite the Cowbell Army’s cheers, the video referee ruled ‘No Try’ due to improper grounding.

It did not take the Giants long to actually double their lead, though, as Seb Ikahihifo powered through multiple Hull FC men to secure a try on his 200th career appearance. The big man’s unstoppable run, and Russell’s second successful conversion of the night gave the Giants a commanding 12-0 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the first half.

The Giants began to display their creativeness, as a sequence of offloads found their targets. The chance ended up going astray, but the effort and entertainment was appreciated by the home faithful.

This would end up being punished by Hull FC, as the Giants rued their wasted chance. Ill tackling discipline gave the visitors a penalty, and the beneficiary yards were put to good use as Herman Ese Ese used his size and strength to bundle himself over the line, under the posts - which allowed for a simple conversion. The scoreline was narrowed to Giants 12-6 Hull FC.

The Giants ended the first half on a positive note by extending their lead to eight points, as Russell slotted over a penalty kick after Tui Lolohea was illegally brought down in the middle of the park.

As half-time was called, the scoreline read Giants 14-6 Hull FC.

The second half began with a bang, with Hull FC inches away from an immediate score. Cameron Scott’s hot-stepping run saw him glide towards the line, his pass to Reynolds was a good one, however the scrum-half’s grounding was not as good. His error cost his side an extra four points on the board, but set up the second half nicely.

To add insult to injury, the travelling side were denied another try only moments after, when Logan Moy looked to have scored, but the try was chalked off as Esan Masters looked to have been obstructed in the build up.

After a huge build up of frustration for Hull FC, they began to crack, and were exploited. Jake Bibby touched down for his second try of the night, as the Giants overran the visitors with ease, and used their width to tally up their third try of the contest. Bibby was yet again the recipient of the ball after slick passing along the line, and a gap was waiting down the touchline for him. The determination showed by the Giants was beginning to prove the difference, and they had a lead of 18-6. 

With only a quarter of the game to go, the hosts looked to be in cruise control, as they marched on with ball in hand, and showed firm defence when needed.

This control was sealed as a fourth Giants try of the night, and a fourth try of his super league campaign, was collected by Sam Halsall. The Giants winger rounded off another smooth passing move by the home side, to make the score Giants 22-6 Hull FC.

The next notable sequence of the game included the Giants fending off all Hull FC threat, and forcing a turnover. The visitors were starting to look resourceless.

Anger started to be shown by the visitors, as they put in a series of late tackles on Adam Clune following his final play kicks, and eventually the Giants received a penalty in aid of this. Russell calmly slotted the ball through the posts to extend the Giants’ lead to 24-6. 

Hull FC managed to convert their anger into a positive format not long after, as Logan Moy scored, and reminded the Giants that the men in black were not down and out yet. Reynolds’ successful conversion brought the scoreboard to read Giants 24-12 Hull FC.

Tensions rose incredibly quickly, as Cameron Scott added another try to the travelling side’s tally, by rounding off a fantastic breakaway move. Reynolds remarkably made the touchline conversion,  making him 3/3 from the tee, making the contest a one score game, and making the final minutes far nervier than predicted.

With less than two minutes to go, the hopeful high kick was sent up by Hull FC, and was spilled by Jake Bibby under immense pressure - giving the visitors a set in enemy territory with seconds to spare. 

However, much to the Giants’ relief, the final pass of the set went astray from any Hull FC hands, and the men in claret and gold vitally got their hands on the ball.

Seconds after, the hooter sounded for full-time, with the Giants running out as victors due to sustained pressure and domination in the first hour of the game. Testament to their spirit and class, the Giants had a first win in 6 games, restarting their aspirations of a play off campaign, as they move up to 7th in the Super League.

Full Time: Giants 24-18 Hull FC

Giants Team: Lolohea, Halsall, Marsters, Naiqama, Bibby, Russell, Clune, Hill, Deakin, Yates, Hewitt, Rushton, Cudjoe 

Interchanges: Connor, Golding, Wilson, Ikahihifo, Greenwood

Tries: Bibby x2, Ikahihifo, Halsall

Goals: Russell x2

Penalties: Russell x2

Hull FC Team: Moy, Barron, Scott, Suttcliffe, Briscoe, Trueman, Reynolds, Ese Ese, Houghton, Sao, Lane, Chan, Aydin

Interchanges: Fast, Litten, Ashworth, Smith, Martin

Tries: Ese Ese, Moy, Scott

Goals: Reynolds x3

Attendance: 4102

By James Devine

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