WATCH - Hull KR 12 Huddersfield Giants 18: Giants dig out a crucial win to leave Hull KR in the mire

THE battered press bench at Hull KR may need a little repair work after Simon Woolford, the Huddersfield Giants head coach, bashed it numerous times in sheer frustration last night.

Huddersfield Giants' Lee Gaskell takes on Hull KR's Adam Quinlan (PIC: BRUCE ROLLINSON)

It is what happens to people when teams are in the battle at the bottom.

However, the Australian - who also had his head in his hands at various moments - was able to breathe easy at last as his side hung on to force a crucial win at fellow strugglers Hull KR.

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It lifts them four points clear of the relegation spot and leaves their rivals just two adrift of London Broncos; there will be more bench-bashing from coaches before this season is out.

Huddersfield Giants' Lee Gaskell takes on Hull KR's Adam Quinlan (PIC: BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Giants, with Matty English leading up front, had looked in control leading 14-6 late on but, with a rare chance, Rovers hit back via Craig Hall’s 73rd minute try.

Danny McGuire provided the assist with a long, raking pass that caught out England winger Jermaine McGillvary.

It was a rare moment of precision for Rovers who had lacked all the fluency that had seen them win so handsomely at Leeds Rhinos the previous week.

Hall converted from wide out to set up a tense finish but McGillvary quickly atoned for that error.

Huddersfield Giants' Matty English ploughs over for a try (PIC:BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Rovers spilled once more and Lee Gaskell’s well-executed grubber saw McGillvary dive over with two minutes remaining.

Darnell McIntosh could not convert, however, so Rovers still had chance to level, especially as they got the ball back from a short restart.

However, when it mattered most, yet again they missed a clinical touch, Josh Drinkwater choosing a wrong option before they tried keeping it alive after the hooter, all to no avail.

Their could be few arguments; Huddersfield, with such a young backline, deserved the win even if they had put their coach through the wringer in doing so.

Huddersfield Giants' Aaron Murphy

The game had been all-square at 6-6 following a bitty first period.

But once Giants took the lead with Alex Mellor’s 47th minute try, they were the better team even if the scoreline did not suggest there was much in it.

Granted, they had been fortunate not to concede just beforehand.

McIntosh was lucky in the second period when McGuire ripped the ball clear from him behind his own line for Jimmy Kenhorst to touch down. However, referee Ben Thaler rightly ruled the Rovers player had moved it forward in doing so.


It proved crucial as, soon after, Mellor stretched over off Gaskell’s fine cut-out pass.

McIntosh missed the simple conversion attempt but added two points when Owen Harrison - the young KR forward just on the pitch - was penalised for a swinging arm moments after losing the ball.

Soon after, Harrison then also caught Kruise Leeming with a high tackle and McIntosh added another to set them up for a win that proved a perfect antidote to last week’s disappointing loss against Catalans Dragons.

Rovers had seen Warrington recall loanees Harvey Livett and Louis Johnson on the eve of the game but the big loss was the invention and pace of Matt Parcell, their on-loan Leeds hooker who was injured at Rhinos..

The first half must have been a frustrating watch for both coaches.

Each side did plenty of good work and there was no lack of effort but too often there was no end product.

Rovers’ chances were not helped with the loss of centre Kane Linnett to a rib injury inside just 14 minutes.

That saw Jimmy Keinhorst switch from the right to left edge and Joel Tomkins moved from back-row out to centre.

Linnett, at least, had made an impact before departing, latching onto Josh Drinkwater’s measured grubber for the night’s opening try, converted by Hall.

Still, the visitors had already levelled before he was taken off, Adam O’Brien this time with the well-placed kick for English to cross, McIntosh improving.

What a pity there was not a similar accuracy thereafter before the break.

Giants scrum-half Tom Holmes did find one good kick to force a drop-out only for the resulting set to peter out to nothing, loose forward Aaron Murphy somehow finding himself kicking on the last.

Similarly, Drinkwater chipped through to put McGillvary under pressure behind his own line but the chase was derisory and the England winger escaped.

Near the line, in particular, Huddersfield were bereft of ideas although their best chance came when Holmes slipped Ukuma Ta’ai into space, McIntosh fumbling the final pass with the line at his mercy.

Rovers had been under some pressure at that point and, when they finally got some good ball, giant front-row Mose Masoe spilled after being rattled by Olly Wilson, the teenage prop who - having been called up to the England Knights squad earlier this week - showed he is not intimidated by anyone.

With their only other chance of note, Joel Tomkins - the captain who rarely puts a foot wrong - blindly offloaded to no one near the Giants line to cede possession once more.

That was not too costly but, by the time Tomkins did it again in the final quarter, forcing a pass that was never on, his side were 14-6 down and they left their surge too late.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Hall, Keinhorst, Linnett, Crooks; Drinkwater, McGuire; Murray, Addy, Mulhern, Hauraki, Tomkins, Lawler. Substitutes: Garbutt, Masoe, Atkin, Harrison.

Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, L Senior, Wardle, I Senior; Gaskell, Holmes; English, O’Brien, Walne, Mellor, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Substitutes: Leeming, Matagi, Wilson, Murphy.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)