Catalans Dragons 12 Huddersfield Giants 14: Brough’s return crucial as Giants keep grip on top-four spot

DANNY BROUGH: Returned from sin-bin to inspire Giants to victory in France.
DANNY BROUGH: Returned from sin-bin to inspire Giants to victory in France.
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HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS assistant coach Kieran Purtell was pleased after seeing his side secure victory over in Perpignan.

Purtell said after the come-from-behind 14-12 success: “I think any time you come here and get a win then it is a fantastic win.

“We had a little bit of adversity during the game with losing a couple of players through injury.

“The conditions were pretty testing, too, with the heat, but I thought defensively we continued to work hard for each other and we came through it all in the end – and that’s what got us the victory.

“It is now in our hands a to try and get that last top-four place – and that is only a good thing.

“We spoke a couple of weeks ago about winning every game and that has not changed – but we need to finish that off now next week against Wakefield before we split off.”

Huddersfield captain Danny Brough proved the inspiration after being sin-binned.

Brough was yellow carded shortly before the half-time break and those 10 minutes proved vital as Catalans ran in 12 points to take the lead.

But Brough returned to the field to see his side to victory, coming from 12-6 down to lead 14-12 within five minutes of his return.

In an error-strewn game, the Giants just edged the two points after managing to keep a hold of the ball better than the hosts in hot and humid conditions.

Huddersfield took the lead in the 28th minute after an eight-minute period that saw the Dragons fail to touch the ball.

Jamie Ellis threw a pass wide to Leroy Cudjoe and the Giants centre drew in the cover defenders and offloaded to Jermaine McGillvary, who scored in the right corner. Ellis added the conversion.

The Dragons levelled in the minute before half-time. With Brough in the bin Catalans took advantage of the extra man. Krisnan Inu pounced on Morgan Escare’s neat kick to level.

After half-time, Inu turned provider, handing on to Escare who raced 70 metres unopposed to score. Scott Dureau added both conversions.

But Brough returned to the field and had a hand an instant impact.

Aided by a penalty, the Giants attacked down the right and Scott Grix’s wide pass found McGillvary, who scored his second try.

Ellis converted, then added a penalty five minutes later to give the visitors a 14-12 lead after Dureau held on to Ukuma Ta’ai too long.

It was a lead Huddersfield would not surrender.

Catalans Dragons: Escare; Inu, Gigot, Pomeroy, Sigismeau; Albert, Dureau; Lima, Henderson, Casty, Whitehead, Anderson, Baitieri. Replacements: Pelissier, Mounis, Garcia, Bousquet.

Huddersfield Giants: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Ellis; Crabtree, Robinson, Huby, Hughes, Ferres, Ta’ai. Replacements: Lawrence, Kopczak, Wood, Smith.

Referee: Joe Cobb (RFL).

Catalans’ England forward Elliott Whitehead, who was taken to hospital with a head injury, underwent scans at a local hospital in Perpignan on Saturday night but was released after a few hours.