Catalans Dragons 16 Huddersfield Giants 14: Giants revival ends in France

Giants coach Paul Anderson.
Giants coach Paul Anderson.
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Catalans Dragons moved level on points with Warrington and Hull at the top of the Super League table after beating Huddersfield 16-14 in Perpignan.

They reached 20 points with a 10th win in 14 games this season, resisting late Huddersfield pressure to secure the victory.

Catalans led by eight points before Jake Connor scored a superb try to narrow the gap to two with 15 minutes remaining, but the hosts managed to hold on.

Catalans were without suspended forwards Dave Taylor and Jason Baitieri, while Vincent Duport also withdrew from the game on Saturday morning due to illness.

Huddersfield went into the game without the talismanic Eorl Crabtree, who did not travel to Perpignan due to the birth of his son.

The first half was a war of attrition, neither side able to build sustained pressure due to the number of errors and penalties within the game.

Huddersfield opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a Danny Brough penalty.

From the re-start, Jermaine McGillvary broke clear down the right, leading to the field position that saw Nathan Mason charge over under the posts. Brough added the conversion to give the Giants an eight-point lead.

Catalans started to build pressure on the half-hour, forcing two goal-line drop-outs before Louis Anderson charged onto Thomas Bosc’s pass to bring the home side back into the game. Richards added the conversion.

The Dragons started the second half much the brighter of the two teams, Todd Carney having a say in creating the pair of tries that transformed the game.

It was his kick to the right corner that was knocked back by Jodie Broughton to Justin Horo who only had to fall over the line to score. Controversy then reigned as for the second Catalans game in a row, the officials could not decide if the goal attempt that followed had gone over the bar. The goal was ruled out and the score remained 10-8 as the Dragons led for the first time.

They extended their lead in the 56th minute as two penalties helped the Dragons march up-field before Carney sent Tony Gigot over down the right.

Richards this time added the conversion to give the hosts an eight-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

That was reduced to two points as the Giants refused to let the ball die, moving it from left to right and back again before Connor’s exaggerated step saw him evade both Horo and Carney and the Huddersfield centre raced over to score. Brough converted to take the score to 16-14.

In the dying moments Huddersfield heaped pressure on the Catalans line, but the Dragons held on to secure the two points.