Huddersfield Giants 50 London Broncos 14: Robinson leads way as Giants knock out Broncos

LUKE ROBINSON’S dynamism proved too much for desperate London Broncos as Huddersfield Giants eased into a Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves.

It was, though, a far from polished performance from the joint-Super League leaders who were struggling to take command yesterday evening before the lively hooker’s introduction off the bench.

However, once he was on the field, Robinson’s incisiveness proved crucial as he regularly taunted the visitors’ defence, created a much-needed try for Larne Patrick and then added a quickfire double of his own in the second half.

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Captain Kevin Brown was similarly influential as he began picking holes in a desperately poor London outfit and Huddersfield will now face Warrington – who defeated them in the 2009 final – on either July 14 or 15 for a place at Wembley.

Coach Nathan Brown said: “It was solid and we got our name in the hat.

“That’s what it’s all about in the cup. It doesn’t matter about points difference or anything – you just have to get there.

“I thought we did a reasonable job without being terrific but Robbo did go really well.

“I think it was his best game for us for a while.”

Huddersfield, who saw Lee Gilmour make his 450th career appearance, dominated all the early possession but struggled to make it pay.

London winger Kieran Dixon then scored his second try out of nothing to leave his unfancied side trailing just 10-8 after 26 minutes.

The Giants were certainly making hard work of the task but the arrival of Robinson – surprisingly overlooked of late by England coach Steve McNamara – pepped them up and his direct approach around the ruck soon had the visitors back peddling.

The diminutive hooker showed a brilliant dummy and pass to usher Patrick through untouched five minutes later and nearly scored himself when backing up Scott Grix’s sniping break only to see Scott Wheeldon get a hand in to cut out the pass.

Huddersfield did add to their score just before the break, stretching to 22-6 when Danny Brough picked up Alex Chan’s loose off-load near halfway to scamper clear and send Greg Eden in for his second.

That put them in control and they never looked back.

London’s problems, meanwhile, came straight from the start when Matt Cook limped off after just 15 seconds having collided awkwardly with Jermaine McGillvary while challenging for the kick-off.

However, after Huddersfield botched two attempts to find winger Aaron Murphy, Dixon opened the scoring against the run of play in the seventh minute, centre David Howell too easily finding space on the Giants’ right.

But the hosts showed bold enterprise by successfully winning a short restart to immediately respond, Murphy squeezing over in the corner at the third attempt after Brown had given centre Joe Wardle just enough space to pierce.

When London scrum-half Craig Gower illegally stripped possession from Brough, they were in again, this time when Eden threw an outrageous dummy to fool the Broncos’ defence, shrug off a weak tackle and then impressively slip past full-back Michael Robertson.

Brough added the first of his five conversions before Michael Witt sailed London’s restart out on the full to hand Huddersfield yet another opportunity to attack the visitors’ nervy right side.

This time London winger Jamie O’Callaghan got a hand in to thwart another sharp move, loose forward Brown clearly continually targeting their edge.

However, London refused to buckle and Huddersfield were warned of their threat when Chris Melling charged down Grix’s kick.

By the time he had regathered, the Huddersfield stand-off recovered to deny his run to the line but there was no let-off when McGillvary misjudged Gower’s lofted kick to the corner allowing Dixon a simple second.

But, in front of just 2,574 fans, Robinson’s timely arrival cued the requisite response from the West Yorkshire side.

After that initial flurry, it was he who extended the lead further in the 48th minute following slightly fortuitous circumstances as Brough’s clever midfield chip caused chaos in the London ranks, Brown palming back for Grix to supply the crucial pass.

Robinson was there supporting again for his second straight after when the excellent Brown and Wardle exchanged passes to split London from deep.

Broncos’ Wheeldon, recently signed from Hull KR, bundled over from close range, Witt finally tagging on a conversion, but – though London were wearing light blue – there was no dramatic Manchester City style comeback here.

Another slick pass from Brown saw Wardle put Murphy – only playing due to Luke George’s illness – in for his second before McGillvary marked his 50th appearance with a try and Dale Ferguson crossed typically off yet more Robinson craft.

With Brough being given a rare breather – no doubt in readiness for their intriguing test against leaders Wigan on Friday – Grix took over kicking duties for the final two conversions.

Huddersfield: Eden; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Grix, Brough; Crabtree, Faiumu, Gilmour, Lawrence, Chan, Brown. Substitutes: Robinson, Mason, Patrick, Ferguson.

London: Robertson; O’Callaghan, Channing, Howell, Dixon; Witt, Gower; Kaufusi, Randall, Bryant, Cook, Rodney, Bailey. Substitutes: Wheeldon, Clubb, Melling, Temata.

Referee: J Child (Dewsbury).