Huddersfield Giants secured a remarkable victory over Super League leaders Catalans Dragons, claiming a 22-14 win in Perpignan and completing a league double over their opponents.
Sam Halsall returned to the Giants’ lineup on the wing, replacing Leroy Cudjoe who failed a late fitness test prior to the trip to Catalans. Additionally, Olly Russell made a successful recovery and started the match.
Catalans started strongly, forcing Sam Halsall back into his own in-goal area and conceding a drop-out.
However, the Giants swiftly turned their defensive position into an attacking opportunity. Adam Kherigan launched a high ball, catching everyone off guard except for Tui Lolohea, who scooped it up and passed it to Kevin Naqiama. Naqiama showed great speed and skill, evading Dragons’ full-back Arthur Mourgue to score the opening try for the Giants.
Steve McNamara’s side quickly responded with a try of their own through Tom Davies, who received a looping pass and touched down in the corner. Mourgue successfully converted the try.
The Giants were soon awarded a penalty for offside, and Oliver Russell calmly slotted in the two points, giving the Giants a 20-minute lead in the first half.
With one try assist already to his name, Tui Lolohea continued to impress. He broke through the Dragons’ defensive line and provided a pass to Chris McQueen, who displayed his speed to score beneath the posts, further extending the Giants’ advantage.
However, before the first half concluded, Catalans struck back with another try from Tom Davies. A penalty offered them field position and quick ball movement saw Matt Ikavaula pass to Davies, who scored his second try of the match.
Nonetheless, the Giants managed to maintain their lead going into halftime, with the score at 14-12 in their favour.
The second half began with the Giants displaying their attacking prowess. Jermaine McGillvary burst through a gap near the halfway line, showcasing his speed. However, he was brought down just short of the try line by Dragons’ back Arthur Mourgue, and was penalised for a double movement.
Moments later, Sam Halsall seemed to have scored in the corner, but the try was disallowed due to a crossing infringement in the build-up.
Unfortunately, the Giants suffered a setback as Harvey Livett left the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Taking advantage of the Giants’ defensive lapse, Arthur Mourgue secured a penalty for Catalans and converted it to level the scores at 14-14.
This served as a turning point for the Giants, as they regained momentum and never looked back.
Nathan Peats and Olly Russell orchestrated a quick play at the line, allowing Chris McQueen to burst through and outpace the Dragons’ full-back, scoring his second try of the day.
Shortly after, Olly Russell added to the Giants’ tally with a successful penalty kick, increasing their lead to eight points. This advantage sealed a memorable victory for Ian Watson’s men in Perpignan.