McGillvary double sees Giants open up their Super 8 account

Jermaine McGillvary dives over for a try.
Jermaine McGillvary dives over for a try.
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Winger Jermaine McGillvary scored his fifth and sixth tries in four games against Catalans Dragons as Huddersfield Giants powered to their first Super 8s win.

McGillvary scrambled for the ball in the right corner on half-time and just managed to get a touchdown that gave his side a 16-6 interval lead.

That came on the back of Willie Tonga’s try – the centre raced over in the left corner from Todd Carney’s long pass.

Catalans dominated early on, with Krisnan Inu just failing to reach a grubber kick from Scott Dureau three minutes minutes in.

A 40-20 from Carney shortly after put the visitors on the offensive again and from the next move the Australian playmaker put on a pass to the unmarked Tonga who did the rest.

Fellow Aussie Tonga then dropped a high kick in his own in-goal area and Jack Hughes pounced for a try which got the Giants back in the game.

After Tonga’s mistake Huddersfield took charge and went in front on 35 minutes from a well-worked move.

Danny Brough’s long pass out of a scrum found Jake Connor, who passed outside to the oncoming Aaron Murphy for a touchdown in the left corner.

Giants skipper Brough, having converted the Hughes try, was wayward with his goal attempt, but not when winger McGillvary went in at the corner on the hooter.

Into the second half a Brough penalty edged the home side out to 18-6, Catalans guilty of holding down in the tackle.

There was a flashpoint in the 58th minute when Connor and Morgan Escare squared up, the Dragons full-back appearing to block Murphy’s run.

Murphy was set to be in the clear from Connor’s pass when Escare looked to take him out by the away dugout.

Another Brough penalty, this time for interference on 62 minutes, made it 20-6 in front of watching Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell.

Brough’s four goals added to the 71 from 94 he had kicked over the season before this match.

The game edged to a niggly end, with Jason Baitieri going in hard as Brough tried to kick high and in the scuffle that followed Ian Henderson took a swing a Scott Grix.

McGillvary ensured the game finished on a positive with a solo dash past Escare to the line from inside his own half seven minutes from time. Carney’s converted touchdown after he jinked over from close range on the final hooter was little consolation for the French visitors.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson hopes to have England second-row Brett Ferres back in action soon.

The vice-captain is recovering from a biceps surgery and, though his return is not imminent, Anderson had some positive news.

“Brett’s back in training but he’s not doing any weights or lifting,” he said.

“He had 10 days where he couldn’t do anything so he had some time off, and it’ll be towards the end of the Super 8s before we see him.”

That could be the home game with Warrington Wolves on 
September 13, by which time Huddersfield hope to have already sealed their top-four place in the Super 8s.

Indeed, they could potentially replace St Helens in third as early as Thursday if they win when visiting Langtree Park in front of the television cameras that night.

Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, Ellis, Crabtree, Robinson, Huby, Wardle, Hughes, Ta’ai. Substitutes: Lawrence, Kopczak, Leeming, Smith.

Catalans Dragons: Escare, Inu, Gigot, Taia, Tonga, Carney, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Lima, Whitehead, Anderson, Baitieri. Substitutes: Bosc, Bousquet, Garcia, Maria.

Referee: R Hicks (RFL).