Friday 8th March 2013, 20:00 - Round:6
|Paul McShane,||T||Joe Wardle, Aaron Murphy 2, Scott Grix, Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree,|
Kevin Sinfield 2,
Danny Brough 4,
Attendance: 15,013 Official: B Thaler Venue: Headingley Carnegie Stadium
Huddersfield Giants captain Danny Brough produced a dazzling display to beat the Super League champions almost single-handedly and lead his side to a third successive win at Headingley.
Brough, omitted from the national squad in the week, demonstrated his class to England and Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield by scoring one try and creating four to keep the Giants top of the table.
While the Rhinos were a pale shadow of the team that pushed Melbourne so close on the same ground a fortnight earlier, Huddersfield were transformed from a side labelled “embarrassing” by coach Paul Anderson following a 43-18 home defeat by Bradford Bulls last Sunday.
The difference was clearly Brough, who missed that game through illness but tonight produced a perfect tonic with a masterclass in tactical kicking.
Huddersfield - who did the double over the champions in 2012 - made light of the absence of leading tryscorer Jermaine McGillvary, whose withdrawal with a back spasm paved the way for 23-year-old Matthew Dawson to make only his second Super League appearance.
The game was hardly a classic, with 13 handling errors in the first quarter alone, eight of them by Leeds and several due to the clever kicking of Brough, whose boot also created the only tries of the first half.
Centre Joe Wardle pounced for the first on 17 minutes after Leeds right winger Joe Vickery failed to gather the ball under pressure from the excellent Aaron Murphy, who got the second on 31 minutes after Brough’s pinpoint kick to the corner found him in plenty of space.
Brough was unable to convert either try and Leeds pulled two points back on the stroke of half-time with a 40-metre penalty from skipper Sinfield to make it 8-2.
The errors continued in the second half and Huddersfield seized on a knock-on by Chris Clarkson 30 metres out from his own line to extend their lead.
The astute Brough picked up from the base of the scrum, took a return pass from Luke Robinson and kicked into space for Murphy to score his second try.
The little maestro was again off target with his conversion attempt but his superb in-play kicking kept the visitors on the front foot.
They survived a scare when Leeds full-back Kallum Watkins breached their line but knocked on in the act of scoring, and took the opportunity to extend their lead on 51 minutes when Brough kicked a penalty awarded for a high tackle on the elusive Robinson.
Huddersfield then made the game safe with a fourth try which was down to excellent footwork as much as neat handling.
England centre Leroy Cudjoe and Scotland second rower Dale Ferguson, recalled from his loan spell at Hull KR, both kicked ahead for substitute David Faiumu to pick up and send full-back Scott Grix over.
Brough kicked his first conversion to make it 20-2 and then supported a break from deep inside his own half by second rower Brett Ferres to scored his side’s fifth try.
Leeds scored a consolation try through hooker Paul McShane, who weaved his way over from dummy half on 68 minutes, but Huddersfield had the final say when Brough came up with a jinking run to get prop Eorl Crabtree over for the last try.
Brough’s fourth goal from seven attempts took his points tally to 12 but that told only part of the story.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Forty Twenty: 2
Clean Breaks: 3