Salford 18-36 Huddersfield: Giants clinch vital Super League win

Darnell Mcintosh
Darnell Mcintosh

Huddersfield came from 8-0 down to carve out a resounding 36-18 victory over Salford to ease their Super League relegation fears.

Giants coach Simon Woolford had called on his side to show some desperation in a bid to dig themselves out of a hole created by four successive defeats and they responded with a gritty performance that earned them two precious points.

Woolford's men resembled a side desperately low on confidence as they conceded two tries in the first 14 minutes but gradually clawed their way into the contest and, after leading 10-8 at the interval, dominated the second half with five further tries.

Salford loose forward Tyrone McCarthy marked his 100th Super League appearance with two tries, a feat matched by Huddersfield centre Darnell McIntosh. but Woolford will be especially pleased with the debuts of Tom Holmes, the former Featherstone and Castleford stand-off, and teenage prop Oliver Wilson.

The visitors suffered a blow after only nine minutes when hooker Adam O'Brien was carried off on a stretcher after being hurt attempting a tackle on Salford prop Ben Nakubuwai.

However, they had a ready-made replacement in Kruise Leeming, who had a lively game and came up with a try at a crucial time.

The Red Devils, who had a chance to go back up to fourth in the table, went in front after only two minutes as McCarthy took Jackson Hastings' pass to crash over for his first try.

McCarthy and Krisnan Inu were then both held up over the line as Salford dominated the opening quarter and the pressure told when a cut-out pass from Tui Lolohea, making his home debut, created an overlap for left winger Ken Sio to score.

Inu was wide with both conversion attempts so the home side had to be content with an 8-0 lead, scant reward for all their efforts, and Huddersfield gradually clawed their way back into the game, largely on the back of impact from the bench.

Substitute Matty English barged his way over on 28 minutes, video referee Ben Thaler awarding the try after lengthy deliberation, and Lee Gaskell's cut the deficit to just two points.

And when Sio fumbled the ball from Gaskell's towering kick, the Giants punished the error, working the ball out to the other wing where full-back Louis Senior sent twin brother Innes over for a try that put them in front for the first time five minutes before the break.

The momentum stayed with the visitors at the start of the second half and they extended their lead within four minutes of the re-start when McIntosh gathered Holmes' lofted kick and touched down one-handed for their third try.

Salford lost full-back Niall Evalds for a short time with a eye injury but they struck back on 48 minutes when McGillvary failed to clear the danger caused by Hastings' grubber kick and centre Kris Welham pounced for a try that brought them to within two points.

The Giants' six-point advantage was restored on 57 minutes when Leeming won the race to his own speculative grubber kick and that proved the turning point.

Gaskell hit the right-hand upright with the fairly simple conversion attempt but Huddersfield opened up a two-score lead on the hour when second rower Ukuma Ta'ai took Holmes' neat pass to score their fifth try and this time McIntosh added the goal.

As the game opened up, centre Jake Wardle went over as Huddersfield ran the ball on the last tackle and, although McCarthy grabbed his second of the match, McIntosh had the final say when he finished off a Gaskell break to score his side's seventh try.

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