Huddersfield Giants’ journey in the Betfred Challenge Cup came to an end as they were narrowly defeated 42-40 by Salford Red Devils in a high-scoring encounter.
Ahead of the Round 6 clash against Salford, Giants coach Ian Watson made some changes to his lineup, welcoming back Sam Halsall, Joe Greenwood, and Theo Fages.
Salford drew first blood as they executed a swift attacking move, with Joe Burgess creating space for Matt Costello to score.
The home team continued their momentum and crossed the Giants’ try line soon after, with Alex Gerrard touching down from close range.
Huddersfield had their first opportunity of the game when Jake Connor attempted to set up Esan Marsters, but a handling error resulted in a knock-on.
Salford capitalised on their dominance of field position and extended their lead through Kallum Watkins, courtesy of a well-placed kick from Brodie Croft.
In the subsequent set of plays, Rhys Williams scored in the corner, confirmed by the video referee, further compounding the Giants’ difficulties in the first half.
However, with just ten minutes remaining until halftime, two quick tries from Sam Hewitt and Luke Yates revived Huddersfield’s hopes, making the score 24-12.
Both tries were created by Theo Fages, who provided well-timed passes for Sam and Luke to exploit gaps in Salford’s defence.
In the dying moments of the first half, Jake Connor’s kick behind Salford’s defensive line was chased down by Jake Bibby, who acrobatically dived over in the corner, narrowing the halftime deficit to 24-16 and keeping the Giants in contention.
The second half began with Huddersfield continuing their strong form from the end of the first half. Joe Greenwood’s impressive play led to an offload that set Tui Lolohea free to sprint towards the Salford line, eventually assisting Luke Yates in scoring his second try of the game.
Salford, holding a slim two-point lead, extended their advantage as Jake Bibby failed to collect a high kick from Marc Sneyd, allowing Joe Burgess to gather the loose ball and score.
Rhys Williams secured his second try of the match after Sam Halsall failed to deal with another high kick from Marc Sneyd, increasing the Red Devils’ lead.
Huddersfield fought back as Tui Lolohea battled against the Salford forwards to touch down under the posts, setting up an intense final ten minutes.
Theo Fages, in his return to action, completed his hat-trick of try assists by sending Kevin Naiqama through a gap to reduce the deficit.
In the closing seconds of the game, Luke Yates completed his hat-trick, bringing the score to 42-40. However, it proved insufficient as Salford secured the victory, advancing to the next round of the Betfred Challenge Cup while the Giants bowed out in the Sixth Round.