Huddersfield Giants 18 Widnes Vikings 36: Clash with Leeds Rhinos will be ‘survival of fittest’ says Giants’ coach Paul Anderson

Giants coach Paul Anderson.
Giants coach Paul Anderson.
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Huddersfield Giants’ winless start to the season drags on after losing 36-18 to new league leaders Widnes Vikings at the John Smith’s Stadium

It was Widnes’s first win at Huddersfield since the advent of Super League.

The Vikings, who finished in the bottom four in 2015, made it three wins from their first four games with a 36-18 triumph over the injury-hit Giants.

The result leaves Huddersfield above bottom of the table Leeds only on points difference as they prepare to take on the reigning champions at Headingley in their next match on Friday.

“Historically that’s a top-three game but both teams have copped some injuries and it will be a survival of the fittest,” said Giants coach Paul Anderson. “Let’s see who can throw out the healthiest team.”

Huddersfield went into the game without eight members of their 25-man squad through injury and they lost scrum-half Jamie Ellis with a shoulder injury after just 24 minutes which will almost certainly rule him out of Friday’s game.

Anderson expects Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Joe Wardle and Kyle Wood to return within the next fortnight but, more importantly, is hoping for an improvement in his players’ attitude.

“Three quarters of our salary cap have watched today,” he said. “One or two might have a chance for Friday but we’ve got to battle on. The key is to stick together.

“I thought Widnes were very good we were poor and pretty soft if I’m honest.

“It was the same team (that almost beat Wigan) but our attitude was not quite right today.”

Wingers Stefan Marsh and Corey Thompson scored four of the Vikings’ seven tries, others coming from Chris Dean, Charly Runciman and Magraff Leuluai.

Michael Lawrence’s try, converted by trialist Jamie Foster, briefly gave the home side hope while Larne Patrick and Foster also crossed, the latter kicking a third conversion.

Huddersfield back-row Oliver Roberts has signed a new contract with the club until the end of 2019. Roberts, 21, has played in every game so far this season having initially seen his chances difficult last term following his move from Bradford Bulls.

Huddersfield: Murphy, McGillvary, Cudjoe, S. Wood, Foster, Connor, Ellis, Rapira, Hinchcliffe, J. Johnson, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Patrick. Substitutes: Smith, Leeming, Mason, Roberts.

Widnes: Hanbury, Thompson, Bridge, Runciman, Marsh, Mellor, Brown, O’Carroll, White, Dudson, Dean, Houston, Cahill. Substitutes: Whitley, Manuokafoa, Leuluai, Heremaia.

Referee: J Child (RFL).