Catalans Dragons 16 Huddersfield Giants 14: Giants on upward trajectory despite defeat in Perpignan

Jake Connor crossed for a try in France as Huddersfield came close to claiming victory.
Jake Connor crossed for a try in France as Huddersfield came close to claiming victory.
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Paul Anderson believes Huddersfield are on an upward curve despite seeing the Giants suffer their 11th Super League defeat of the season at Catalans Dragons.

The Giants remain second bottom in the table, locked on six points with champions Leeds and Salford, after they were edged out 16-14 in Perpignan.

But head coach Anderson’s side showed plenty of character to stay in the game right to the death, especially after Catalans moved 16-8 ahead following two tries in five second-half minutes, and gave the hosts a scare.

Anderson said: “Defensively I thought we were pretty good. We had a spell just after half-time but other than that I thought we were pretty good.

“We can take a lot of positives out of that performance. I told the boys in the changing room exactly that. We just lacked a little bit of cohesion with the ball.

“Our effort was outstanding, I just thought we lacked a little bit of presence and physicality but all the young blokes did a great job for us out there and they have in recent weeks too.

“I was pleased with the effort we put in. We did some things that in the end cost us the two points but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.

“I want to pay special tribute to our supporters who travelled in their numbers.”

On Eorl Crabtree, who did not travel to France due to the birth of his son, Anderson said: “I’m hoping that he has a little baby bouncing on his knee when we get home.

“We missed Eorl out there with his size and presence.”

The two points for Catalans, who were unable to call on the likes of Dave Taylor, Jason Baitieri and Vincent Duport, moved them level with Warrington and Hull at the top of the table.

Catalans coach Laurent Frayssinous said: “I am happy with the two points and that we were able to come back and show a lot of character to win the game.

“To be able to win that game with a player on debut and with four big players for us missing is a great effort and I put a lot of praise on my players.

“I’m pretty happy with the two points. Defensively I was pretty pleased too, we have some things to work on, but we have to be pleased to keep a team to 14 points.

“If we can do that every week then we give ourselves a chance of winning most games.”

Catalans led by eight points before Jake Connor scored a superb try to narrow the gap to two with 15 minutes remaining, but the hosts managed to hold on.

Huddersfield had earlier led by eight points through a Nathan Mason try and two goals from Danny Brough.

Louis Anderson, Justin Horo and Tony Gigot crossed for Catalans.

Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Horo, Richards, Yaha, Carney, Myler, Mason, Pelissier, Casty, Stewart, Anderson, Mounis. Replacements: Bousquet, Bosc, Maria, Navarrete.

Huddersfield: Brierley, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, K. Wood, Ta’ai, Hinchcliffe, L. Johnson, J. Wardle, Roberts, Lawrence. Replacements: Ellis, Rapira, Mason, Dickinson.

Referee: G Hewer (RFL).