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Huddersfield Giants 48 Leeds Rhinos 24

The Rhinos had a bitterly disappointing afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium as they lost out to 12 men Huddersfield in the final game of the regular season.

Although there was nothing to gain for either side in terms of league positioning, there was plenty on the line in terms of gaining momentum going into the knock out competition that both will be hoping to face in the next four weeks.

The Rhinos had a number of half chances early on but they were unable to unlock the Giants defence and it was the home side who hit the front early on with a try from Leroy Cudjoe. The Rhinos had held up Luke O’Donnell over the line but two tackles later, a good line from Cudjoe left the visitors flat footed and he took Brough’s pass to go over. Brough converted to make it 6-0 after five minutes.

Four minutes later, Huddersfield scored their second try as Luke George out jumped Ben Jones-Bishop to collect the cross field kick and touch down. Brough was off target with his conversion attempt but his side led 10-0.

The Giants were then reduced to 12 men when O’Donnell was sent off for the use of his forearm in a tackle on Ian Kirke, that saw the Leeds man taken to hospital. The incident appeared to be unseen initially and Huddersfield were quick to take the Australian off the pitch to take him out of the firing line. However, referee Thierry Alibert took a second opinion from his touch judge, recalled the forward and sent him off as Kirke was being stretchered from the field.

The loss of O’Donnell had a galvanising effect on the Giants and they soon increased their lead but there was a hint of controversy in that as well. Michael Lawrence got the ball down but on initially inspection it appeared he had grounded the ball short and then lifted his arm for a second effort. The in goal judge confirmed the score for referee Alibert and the Giants had a 16-0 lead.

Leeds needed to score next to give themselves a chance and they did just that following a spell of pressure on the Giants line after Grix was penned in his in goal by a Delaney kick. Four tackles later, Burrow released Weller Hauraki, who broke through a tackle and then, unselfishly, passed to Jimmy Keinhorst for the young centre to score. Sinfield’s conversion hit the post and rebounded away to leave the score at 16-4.

The Rhinos were pushing hard for another before half time but crucially Ablett’s offload to Leuluai 35 metres from his own line was read by Brough who raced through untouched to score. Brough converted with the final kick of the half to make it 22-4 at the break.

The second half was disastrous as far as the Rhinos were concerned as they produced one of their worst forty minutes of the season. Huddersfield initially were content to keep the scoreboard ticking over and took two shots at goal from penalties that man of the match Brough was on target with on both occasions.

However, a try from Luke Robinson took the home side into a commanding advantage with 20 minutes to go. Ryan Hall got one back for Leeds when the Giants went to sleep on the blindside but the game was one with three quick fire tries from the home side in five minutes. Grix, Robinson and Cudjoe all crossed with the boot of Danny Brough adding two more goals to make it 48-10.

Leeds rallied with three late tries from Watkins, Ablett and a collectors item from Jamie Peacock to end the game as he raced 20 metres to score. Sinfield only added one conversion to leave the final score 48-24 to the home side.

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Huddersfield Giants 48 Leeds Rhinos 24

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Huddersfield Giants 48 Leeds Rhinos 24

The Rhinos had a bitterly disappointing afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium as they lost out to 12 men Huddersfield in the final game of the regular season.

Although there was nothing to gain for either side in terms of league positioning, there was plenty on the line in terms of gaining momentum going into the knock out competition that both will be hoping to face in the next four weeks.

The Rhinos had a number of half chances early on but they were unable to unlock the Giants defence and it was the home side who hit the front early on with a try from Leroy Cudjoe. The Rhinos had held up Luke O’Donnell over the line but two tackles later, a good line from Cudjoe left the visitors flat footed and he took Brough’s pass to go over. Brough converted to make it 6-0 after five minutes.

Four minutes later, Huddersfield scored their second try as Luke George out jumped Ben Jones-Bishop to collect the cross field kick and touch down. Brough was off target with his conversion attempt but his side led 10-0.

The Giants were then reduced to 12 men when O’Donnell was sent off for the use of his forearm in a tackle on Ian Kirke, that saw the Leeds man taken to hospital. The incident appeared to be unseen initially and Huddersfield were quick to take the Australian off the pitch to take him out of the firing line. However, referee Thierry Alibert took a second opinion from his touch judge, recalled the forward and sent him off as Kirke was being stretchered from the field.

The loss of O’Donnell had a galvanising effect on the Giants and they soon increased their lead but there was a hint of controversy in that as well. Michael Lawrence got the ball down but on initially inspection it appeared he had grounded the ball short and then lifted his arm for a second effort. The in goal judge confirmed the score for referee Alibert and the Giants had a 16-0 lead.

Leeds needed to score next to give themselves a chance and they did just that following a spell of pressure on the Giants line after Grix was penned in his in goal by a Delaney kick. Four tackles later, Burrow released Weller Hauraki, who broke through a tackle and then, unselfishly, passed to Jimmy Keinhorst for the young centre to score. Sinfield’s conversion hit the post and rebounded away to leave the score at 16-4.

The Rhinos were pushing hard for another before half time but crucially Ablett’s offload to Leuluai 35 metres from his own line was read by Brough who raced through untouched to score. Brough converted with the final kick of the half to make it 22-4 at the break.

The second half was disastrous as far as the Rhinos were concerned as they produced one of their worst forty minutes of the season. Huddersfield initially were content to keep the scoreboard ticking over and took two shots at goal from penalties that man of the match Brough was on target with on both occasions.

However, a try from Luke Robinson took the home side into a commanding advantage with 20 minutes to go. Ryan Hall got one back for Leeds when the Giants went to sleep on the blindside but the game was one with three quick fire tries from the home side in five minutes. Grix, Robinson and Cudjoe all crossed with the boot of Danny Brough adding two more goals to make it 48-10.

Leeds rallied with three late tries from Watkins, Ablett and a collectors item from Jamie Peacock to end the game as he raced 20 metres to score. Sinfield only added one conversion to leave the final score 48-24 to the home side.