Huddersfield Giants came from 22-10 down to gain a 24-22 win over Catalans Dragons and clinch their survival in Super League.
The Giants would have stayed up regardless of the result because of London Broncos’ 19-10 defeat at Wakefield – but they were not to know that and for a nervous hour they looked destined for defeat.
But left winger Louis Senior completed a hat-trick of tries to start the fightback and scored a fourth 10 minutes from the end to set the stage for England winger Jermaine McGillvary on the other flank to snatch a first home win since May.
Dragons’ tries came from winger Lewis Tierney and a solo effort from half-back Arthur Mourgue.
Giants led 10-6 midway through the first half thanks to two tries from Senior, the first after a super 60-metre move sparked by a break from scrum-half Matt Frawley and the second a gift after winger Robin Brochon dropped Frawley’s high kick.
Tomkins was at the heart of the Dragons’ attack and his cut-out pass saw Tierney cross for a try.
Mourgue, one of 13 Frenchmen in the Dragons’ matchday squad, then made the running for Tierney’s second on 27 minutes.
Sam Tomkins nudged his side in front with his second touchline conversion and a penalty, before Mourgue jinked his way over.
Tomkins kicked his third conversion and there seemed no way back for the Giants when he added a second penalty to increase the lead to 22-10 on 51 minutes.
However, Lee Gaskell worked Senior over and the winger added a fourth 10 minutes from the end after scooping up a stray Catalans pass 20 metres from his own line.
Gaskell added the conversion and McGillvary grabbed a late try.
Huddersfield: McIntosh, L. Senior, J. Wardle, Murphy, McGillvary, Gaskell, Frawley, Matagi, O’Brien, Clough, Mellor, Ta’ai, Ikahihifo. Substitutes: Leeming, Kirby, Wilson, Butler.
Catalans Dragons: Tomkins, Brochon, Romano, Jullien, Tierney, Albert, Mourgue, Bousquet, McIlorum, Maria, Bird, Garcia, Baitieri. Substitutes: Simon, Da Costa, Goudemand, Belmas.
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL)