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Super League: Huddersfield Giants see off spirited London Broncos at the Stoop
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Huddersfield Giants have moved to within a win of clinching the League Leaders' Shield following a 26-12 victory over the London Broncos.
In-form winger Aaron Murphy scored the only try of the first half, with early second-half scores from Ukumu Ta'ai and Eorl Crabtree finally giving the Giants breathing room.
Danny Brough converted all three, although the Broncos finished with of a flourish courtesy of tries from James Woodburn-Hall and Alex Hurst, Australian Jamie Soward converted both.
However, that was a close as Tony Rea's men came to staging a comeback with Bradford Bulls-bound Dale Ferguson wrapping up the points
The visitors opened the scoring on six minutes - Murphy the first to reach Brough's kick down the left channel to touch down in the corner.
The hosts managed to exert their own pressure on the quarter hour mark but despite winning three penalties in quick succession five metres out, the Giants defence held firm.
Crabtree was proving to be a driving force and the prop almost got himself in on 23 minutes but he failed to gather his own chipped pass towards the posts.
The game was full of errors as Huddersfield won a penalty five yards out for offside but replacement David Faiumu dropped the ball just short of the line.
The home side tried to launch their own attack but with their phases running out Soward, who kicked four points in all, was forced to kick away possession.
The game flared up on 35 minutes, though, as Matt Cook and Ta'ai squared up to each other following a tackle, with punches thrown and players from both sides coming together. Cook came off worse having been hit by a punch although both players were sin binned.
The visitors regrouped and thought they had scored a second try when Brett Ferres charged over but referee George Stoke ruled the forward had pushed illegally with his shoulder.
The Giants did extend their lead on 47 minutes as Ta'ai - just back on the pitch following his sin bin - received the ball in front of the posts before stretching over the line.
Huddersfield went 18-0 up on 54 minutes as Ta'ai rode a tackle, before offloading to Crabtree to score to the right of the posts.
But the home side reduced the deficit seven minutes later as Woodburn-Hall picked up the ball five metres out to score on the right, with Soward converting.
Huddersfield were then dealt a blow as captain Brough was forced off with an apparent shoulder injury and the home side capitalised on 73 minutes as Hurst pounced in the left corner.
Scott Grix, though, added a penalty and Ferguson outpaced Kieran Dixon late on to secure Huddersfield's seventh victory in a row - another against Wakefield next time out would seal top spot.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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