Huddersfield Giants survived a rousing late rally from their hosts Salford Red Devils to seal their first victory in four games and provide caretaker coach Andy Kelly with a winning start.
Andy Kelly was in charge after Paul Anderson’s sacking on Thursday and saw his side come from behind to lead 16-12 at the break, tries from Jake Connor, Ukuma Ta’ai and Leroy Cudjoe cancelling out Craig Kopczak’s early score.
Daniel Vidot went over for Salford’s second try just before half-time.
Huddersfield looked set for a comfortable win when they led 31-18 thanks to tries from Eorl Crabtree and Joe Wardle, with Danny Brough dropping what eventually proved to be a match-winning point.
Salford hit back, with Josh Jones getting his second try and Vidot completing his brace to set up a grandstand finish, but the Giants held on.
A minutes applause was held before kick-off in memory of Ronan Costello, the 17-year-old Giants player who tragically died after being injured in an Academy match against Salford last weekend.
His former team-mates at Huddersfield and Brighouse Rangers were on the pitch for the tribute and a further 60 seconds applause for Costello was also held after 17 minutes.
Salford won 26-24 at Huddersfield in March, but the Red Devils still face possible disciplinary action from the Rugby Football League following ugly crowd scenes at the final hooter after the Easter clash.
Salford Red Devils: O’Brien, Carney, Jones, Sa’u, Vidot, Lui, Dobson, Kopczak, Tomkins, G. Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Hauraki, Flanagan. Substitutes: Krasniqi, J. Walne, Bibby, Joseph.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, J. Wardle, Connor, Brough, Ellis, Crabtree, Leeming, Rapira, Symonds, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Substitutes: K. Wood, Roberts, J. Johnson, Mason.
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL)