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A middle of the table clash in the south of France saw a Huddersfield Giants side on the verge of losing touch with the play off places take on a Catalans Dragons side down on confidence and in danger of dropping out of the top six themselves after a recent poor run of form.

The bookies and pundits fancied a home win as they gave the Giants an eight-point start on the coupon but both sides came into the game on the back of painful defeats, the Giants to Hull KR and the Dragons at home to the Leigh Leopards.

One sides season would march forward on a victory, the other would continue a slump and a disappointing 2024 season.

Just one hundred seconds were on the clock when the Dragons opened their account, Joe Greenwood spilling the ball deep inside his own half before a kick to the right corner with Tom Davies on hand to take the pass and skirt over to score on the corner. Arthur Mourgue was unable to convert from the touchline, but it was a great start from the home side.

The second Dragons side came on six minutes, again after a Giants error, as Theo Fages leapt to take a Jordan Abdull grubber as it bounced high off the post pad and ground under the sticks. Mourge hit the mark this time for 10-0.

On fourteen Arthur Romano joined the try scoring party as he stretched for the line to score one-handed after wrong-footing one tackler and burrowing under two more.  Mourgue added the conversion for 16-0, the game already looking well beyond an awful Giants.

Tom Johnstone brought up 20-0 when he won the competitions to jump to catch an Abdull high kick before spinning over the line and ground in the left corner. Mourgue converted brilliantly from the touchline for 22-0 with twenty-six minutes on the clock.

The Giants managed to stem the tide and make it to the interval without shipping in any further points but they needed a second half miracle to get back into the game.

After some good pressure at the start of the second half it was the Giants who got the first points in the second forty with Harry Rushton fending off three attempted Dragons tackles to ground. Olly Russell added the conversion for 6-22 with twenty-four minutes remaining.

On fifty-eight Ashton Golding chased down a Russell kick towards the sticks and beat the retreating Dragons defenders to the ball to ground. Russell added the extras, the Dragons lead down to ten points with plenty of time remaining.

On sixty-six the Giants scored a freak try when a pass hit Luke Yates square in the face, the skipper picking up the loose ball and crossing from ten metres to get his side back within range. Russell added the conversion for 18-22, the Giants just converted try away from a stunning victory. It was an incredible turnaround of events in a game of two halves.

The Dragons focussed on playing the remainder of the game in their opponent’s half to try and reverse the momentum which the Giants had gained from their second half fightback. The Giants last play started inside their own ten and they made an error in the carry and gifted possession back to a relieved Dragons side.

It was the home side who took the points but not without a big scare from a sensational second half fightback from the visitors. If the Giants had shown the passion and dedication from the second half in the first forty then it would have been the claret and gold returning to West Yorkshire with the points. But the win gives the Dragons a little bit of breathing space in fifth over the Leeds Rhinos as they also go ahead of the Salford Red Devils thanks to the win.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue (3/4 G), Davies (T), Romano (T), Ikuvalu, Johnstone (T), Abdull, Fages (T), Navarrete, McIlorum, Bousquet, Sims, Séguier, Garcia.  Subs: Nikorima, Maria, Dezaria, Satae. 18th Man: Da Costa.

Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea, Halsall, Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis, Russell (3/3 G), Clune, Hill, Milner, Greenwood, Hewitt, Rushton (T), Yates (T). Subs: Golding (T), Wilson, Savelio, Ikahihifo. 18th Man: Connor. 

Half-Time: 22-0.

Full-Time: 22-18.

Score Progression: 4-0, 8-0, 10-0, 14-0, 16-0, 20-0, 22-0 : HT: 22-4, 22-6, 22-10, 22-12, 22-16, 22-18 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Catalans.

Referee: Liam Moore.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Jun 2024 7:21 PM | Views : 2995 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES