The John Smith's Stadium was the venue for a Wednesday night round nine fixture between tenth placed Huddersfield Giants, and eighth placed Catalans Dragons. Both sides have had disappointing starts to the season and were on an increasingly desperate points trail, and looking to start the Easter period with a win.
Huddersfield gave a debut to full back Jake Mamo, while the Dragons named Tony Gigot in the same position for the second game of the season after his two year suspension was reduced to three months.
It had been a high-octane opening but it was the defences on top thwarting scoring chances for both sides.
Krisnan Inu wasted a gilt edged scoring chance on twelve when he collected a kick but lost it as he stopped to score. One minute later, and on a free play, Aaron Murphy dived over after collecting a Danny Brough chip kick to the wing. Brough added the extra two from wide.
On twenty a delightful Tony Gigot step bamboozled the Giants defence to allow him to score under the sticks without a hand being laid on him. Luke Walsh added the two to square up the scoreline.
Four minutes from the interval Sam Wood put in a grubber which it looked simple for the Dragons to deal with, but Remi Casty failed to ground the ball dead in goal and the chasing Jake Mamo got his hand on it ground. Brough was unable to convert.
Within the last minute of the half a Richie Myler break found Wiliame in support to go over for the Dragons second of the night. It was the simplest of tries, and the Walsh conversion gave the visitors a two point lead at the interval at 12-10.
The second half was eight minutes old when the Dragons extended their lead, running the ball on the last play. A passing move saw the ball go through several pairs of hands before Richie Myler collected a precise Walsh kick to score. Danny Brough protested too much and was shown the yellow card. Walsh kicked the extras and there was daylight between the teams.
On fifty-five Vincent Duport turned a bad pass into a great pick-up and score to cross as the Dragons switched on their expansive game and gained in confidence. Walsh kicked well for the extra two points for a 24-10 lead.
The Giants gifted possession on their own fifteen metres after a wayward Brough pass allowed Luke Walsh to pick up the ball and had a clear run to the line to score. He failed to add the extra two with the ball hitting an upright and the crossbar, but with an eighteen point deficit there seemed no way back for the Giants.
Fourteen minutes from time and the Giants keep the ball alive and Lee Gaskell put in a kick which was collected and grounded by Jermaine McGillvary. Brough added a great conversion and the margin was back to twelve.
Three minutes from time Tony Gigot slotted over a drop goal from directly in front of the sticks for 29-16, sealing the Dragons on-the-road win.
On the final hooter a Brough kick was fielded by McGillvary and passed to Sam Wood to dive over in the corner but as Brough added the extras it was scant consolation leaving the final scoreline as 22-29.
This game was played out by two teams who are struggling for form and it showed. There were plenty of mistakes and a lack of creativity in attack from both sides. The Giants were more guilty of errors and in the end it was that which counted. The Dragons are up to seventh but the Giants are still in all sorts of trouble in tenth.
Mamo (T), McGillvary (T), Wood S. (T), Murphy (T), McIntosh, Brough (3G, SB), Gaskell, Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Symonds, Mellor, Clough. Subs: Rapira, Leeming, Roberts, Mason.
Gigot (T, DG), Duport (T), Inu, Wiliame (T), Thornley, Walsh (4G, T), Myler (T), Moa, Aiton, Belmas, Anderson, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Bosquet, Bosc, Simon, Margalet.