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  • First Utility Super League
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Mac relieved after tense finish

Brown rues crucial missed second-half opportunity

Last updated: 23rd September 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Mac relieved after tense finish

Brian McDermott: one game away from the Grand Final

There were some nerves. Huddersfield can score tries, they are a pretty potent team with the ball, so when they had momentum I was nervous. They pretty much threw everything at us. It was more about Huddersfield's desire to get to a Grand Final

Brian McDermott
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Leeds coach Brian McDermott admitted he was a nervous man in the closing stages of his side's 34-28 victory over Huddersfield in the Super League preliminary semi-final at the Galpharm Stadium.

The Rhinos led 34-12 on 57 minutes, but the Giants roared back to within a converted score with six minutes still left on the clock.

"There were some nerves," said McDermott. "Huddersfield can score tries, they are a pretty potent team with the ball, so when they had momentum I was nervous.

"They pretty much threw everything at us. It was more about Huddersfield's desire to get to a Grand Final."

Leeds' 19-year-old centre Zak Hardaker grabbed a hat-trick of tries and McDermott admits he has probably done enough to keep his place in the side for next week's semi-final at St Helens or Warrington, even if Carl Ablett and Kallum Watkins return from injury.

"He's grown in that position," added McDermott. "He didn't look out of place straight away and gradually believed in that position a bit more each week. Tonight he showed just what he could do."

While Leeds are on a roll, with four straight wins since their Challenge Cup final defeat, fast-fading Huddersfield's season came to an abrupt end with an eighth defeat in 10 games.

There were times when the Giants still looked in shock from their 47-0 mauling by Warrington a week ago but they they twice produced fightbacks to close the gap to six points and did enough in the end to restore their pride.

Turning point

Giants coach Nathan Brown felt the turning point came early in the second half when, having fought their way back from 16-0 down, the Giants had a chance to go in front when Danny Brough dropped a final pass from Leroy Cudjoe with the line open.

"At 16-12 we put the pass down when we were going behind the posts and they put back-to-back tries on us," said Brown.

"Towards the end of the year we've lost a bit of resolve and that probably showed in that crucial stage tonight."

Despite their dismal finish to the season, Brown insists Huddersfield are close to being contenders for the top prizes.

"We just need to try to go from a top-four side to get that little bit better," he said. "We all need to look at a few things and need to try and advance a touch.

"We've been in the top four three years in a row. We haven't delivered a trophy but we're competing hard and I'm proud of all the players. A lot of our younger players did terrific tonight."

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Super League Table

Super League Table - September 14 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 27 38
2 Wigan Warriors 27 37
3 Huddersfield Giants 27 37
4 Castleford Tigers 27 36
5 Warrington Wolves 27 35
6 Leeds Rhinos 27 32
7 Catalans Dragons 27 29
8 Widnes Vikings 27 27
9 Hull K R 27 23
10 Salford Red Devils 27 23
11 Hull FC 27 22
12 Wakefield Wildcats 27 21
13 Bradford Bulls * 27 10
14 London Broncos 27 2
Forthcoming First Utility Super League Fixtures
First Utility Super League
Thursday 5th February
20:00Widnes vs Wigan
Friday 6th February
20:00St Helens vs Catalans Dragons
Saturday 7th February
15:00Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils
Sunday 8th February
15:00Huddersfield vs Hull
15:00Hull K R vs Leeds
15:30Castleford vs Wakefield
Thursday 12th February
20:00Salford vs St Helens
Friday 13th February
20:00Hull vs Warrington
20:00Leeds vs Widnes
20:00Wigan vs Huddersfield
Today's Results
First Utility Super League
Saturday 11th October
St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan
Friday 3rd October
Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington
Thursday 2nd October
St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons
Friday 26th September
Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons
Thursday 25th September
Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington
Saturday 20th September
Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons
Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes
Friday 19th September
St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford
Thursday 18th September
Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield
Sunday 14th September
Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R

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