Huddersfield Giants 17 Toulouse 16: Jack Cogger saves Giants’ blushes

Huddersfield needed a late drop goal from half-back Jack Cogger to secure a 17-16 victory and deny plucky bottom club Toulouse their first away win in Super League.

A week out from the Challenge Cup final, the Giants trailed for most of the game and were 16-6 down when Matty Russell scored Toulouse’s third try five minutes into the second half.

However, two tries from winger Innes Senior helped spare Huddersfield’s blushes and break the hearts of the visiting French side.

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It was a less than impressive performance from Ian Watson’s team, however, and they were handed an injury scare ahead of next Saturday’s showdown with Wigan at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when half-back Oliver Russell was forced out of the action after 21 minutes.

Huddersfield Giants players celebrate scoring their first try. Picture: John Rushworth/SWpix.com

The French side went in front after six minutes when Lucas Albert’s grubber kick deceived Tui Lolohea and enabled former Huddersfield full-back Olly Ashall-Bott to touch down for the game’s first try, which Chris Hankinson goaled.

The Giants drew level 10 minutes later when second rower Sam Hewitt touched down Lolohea’s delicate grubber and the full-back added the conversion.

The French side, buoyed by a big win over Wakefield, regained the lead midway through the first half when prop Romain Navarette went through a gap in the Huddersfield line and held off his pursuers on a 40-metre gallop for a remarkable solo try, which Hankinson goaled for a 12-6 lead.

Russell cut inside from the wing to catch the hosts wrong-footed and scoot over for a try.

That made it 16-6 but the Giants eventually managed to retain possession long enough to put their opponents under sustained pressure.

It told when centre Ricky Leutele produced a sweet pass for Senior to go over for his first try and Lolohea’s touchline conversion cut the deficit to four points.

Toulouse looked to be out on their feet in the final quarter and it was no surprise when Senior scored his second try, this time courtesy of a pass from Golding, to level the scores.

Lolohea was wide with the conversion attempt but Huddersfield went in front for the first time with a drop goal from Cogger and hung on for victory.

Huddersfield: Lolohea, I. Senior, Leutele, Cudjoe, McGillvary, Russell, Cogger, Yates, Hill, Levi, Wilson, Hewitt, Jones. Substitutes: Golding, Greenwood, Trout, Ikahihifo.

Toulouse: Ashall-Bott, Russell, Hankinson, Jussaume, Schaumkel, Albert, Norman, Navarrete, Marion, Alvaro, Stefani, Dixon, Puech. Substitutes: Cunningham, Hansen, Sangare, Garbutt.

Referee: Jack Smith (RFL).