Salford make Giants work hard for their top six return

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Huddersfield Giants returned to the top six in Super League after a hard-fought win at Salford with 10 points in the last nine minutes.

Huddersfield were level at 20-20 until they sealed victory with a Michael Lawrence try and three Scott Grix goals.

The Giants, who beat Salford 36-10 at the Galpharm Stadium in March, were without Danny Brough and Castleford-bound Lee Gilmour but Joe Wardle returned from a 10-week absence.

Wardle had not played since suffering an abdominal injury in the Magic Weekend defeat by the Reds at the Etihad Stadium. Scott Moore was also back after missing the win over Catalans – new boss Paul Anderson’s first victory in three matches since succeeding Nathan Brown.

The Reds, after three defeats in a row against Widnes, Hull and London, were missing ex-Giants star Chris Nero with an elbow injury but Iafeta Paleaaesina returned after a hamstring problem.

Luke Robinson looked sharp from dummy half against his old club who lost Ashley Gibson after only five minutes with an arm injury.

Huddersfield went ahead after a burst by Jason Chan enabled Grix and Leroy Cudjoe to put Jermaine McGillvary over in the corner.

The Giants almost went further in front when Tommy Lee sent Eorl Crabtree bursting through but he was stopped short.

Lee then lost the ball over the line after a powerful Crabtree burst before Huddersfield were reduced to 12 men after 20 minutes when Cudjoe was sin-binned for a professional foul.

It was no surprise when Lee’s kick caused havoc in the Reds defence and Brett Ferres touched down for his first try for the club.

Grix’s conversion stretched the lead to 10-0 before Salford opened their account when Vinnie Anderson swept over from Luke Patten’s pass with Holdsworth’s conversion cutting the gap to 10-6. Then Holdsworth and Anderson engineered a try for Jodie Broughton in the corner four minutes from the break to level the scores before Holdsworth landed the touchline conversion.

Huddersfield regained the lead almost straight from the restart when Greg Eden went through.

Then Jason Chan’s touchdown made it 20-12 after 47 minutes before Danny Williams gave the Reds renewed hope after an hour.

Gleeson went over from dummy half to level the scores at 20-20, but Huddersfield regained the lead with a Grix penalty for Patten’s high tackle. Lawrence notched the Giants’ fifth try with a Grix conversion and penalty sealing the win.

Salford City Reds: Patten, Broughton, Gibson, Williams, Gleeson, Holdsworth, Howarth, Sidlow, Anderson, Boyle, Ashurst, Adamson, Wild. Substitutes: James, Paleaaesina, Owen, Gledhill.

Huddersfield Giants: Eden, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Grix, Lee, Crabtree, Robinson, Mason, Chan, Ferres, Lawrence. Substitutes: Moore, Fa’alogo, Faiumu, Cording.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).