PACY winger Jodie Broughton rarely got a chance to impose himself during a two-season stint at Huddersfield Giants, but showed them what they were missing yesterday.
Broughton scored a 10-minute hat-trick as Catalans Dragons made the most of Joe Wardle’s dismissal early in the second half to record a convincing victory.
Giants’ 20-12 half-time lead had already been wiped out by two Broughton tries – the first coming when Wardle hurled a pass straight at him close to the hosts’ line– before the red card.
Referee Ben Thaler took his time, but there was little doubt Wardle deserved to take an early shower for clothes-lining Catalans front-rower Remi Casty.
Broughton completed his hat-trick soon afterwards and then Paul Aiton, the ex-Wakefield and Leeds hooker making an impressive return from a biceps injury, nipped over following Todd Carney’s 40-20 kick.
That completed a 12-minute spell, including five successive penalties, when Giants did not touch the ball.
Julien Bousquet and Richie Myler completed a calamitous second half for Huddersfield, either side of a consolation try by Kruise Leeming, which Jordan Tansey converted.
It was Huddersfield’s fifth defeat in six Super League rounds.
Coach Paul Anderson made no attempt to hide his anger and dismay afterwards.
Refusing to use the sending-off as an excuse, he said: “Our attitude stank. We probably got what we deserved.
“The start of the game was poor.
“The second half of the first half was pretty good, but the rest of the game was abysmal.
“We gave in and if people want to be part of this club that’s not the character I am looking for.
“We were very soft and we gifted them 20-odd points.
“It is embarrassing and it all comes down to attitude. Everything you do in life is a decision.
“If people choose to play like that they won’t play for the Giants.”
Catalans are a frustrating team to watch, capable of some outstanding rugby when they look interested, but prone to spells of inactivity.
Huddersfield made a dire start and were 12-0 behind after 13 minutes.
But then they scored four unanswered tries to build a convincing eight-point lead at the interval.
Jake Connor got over Catalans’ line after seven minutes, but Danny Brough’s pass was forward.
Giants then conceded a penalty and from that Louis Anderson scampered over off a pass by Myler, with Pat Richards landing the first of his six goals.
Soon afterwards Glenn Stewart pounced on a Huddersfield error near their own line.
The hosts had offered nothing up to that point, but a wonderful try, scored by Connor from Brough’s pass after some outstanding handling, woke them up.
Catalans centre Krisnan Inu was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Eorl Crabtree from the restart.
The big prop went off and did not return, but Huddersfield added two tries during Inu’s absence. Jermaine McGillvary shrugging off three defenders to cross at the corner before Larne Patrick went over from Aaron Murphy’s break.
Catalans got a rare sight of Huddersfield’s line just before half-time, but Cudjoe batted Myler’s pass into the air, gathered and raced 80 metres, Brough landing his second goal.
Adding to Giants’ problems, Brough went off hurt late in the game.
The contrast between Huddersfield’s display in the second quarter and that for the rest of the match only added to Anderson’s frustration.
“That perfomance is not acceptable,” he said.
Huddersfield Giants: Tansey, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, Wood, Crabtree, Hinchcliffe, Rapira, Wardle, Lawrence, Ta’ai. Subs Patrick, Leeming, N Mason, Roberts.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Inu, Duport, Richards, Carney, Myler, Taylor, Pelissier, Bousquet, Anderson, Stewart, Baitieri. Subs Aiton, Casty, Mounis, W Mason.
Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).