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Super League: Huddersfield Giants hammer Catalan Dragons
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Huddersfield moved to within a pont of Super League leaders Wigan with a crushing 60-16 victory over play-off contenders Catalan Dragons.
Brett Ferres and Jermaine McGillvary both scored hat-tricks as the Giants continued their pursuit of a first title for 51 years in emphatic fashion.
The first half was notable chiefly for a curious lack of intensity and a series of errors from both sides which created a slew of tries.
The Giants took quick advantage of two early penalties, before a superb short pass from Danny Brough put Ferres storming through for a try. Brough converted and Huddersfield led 6-0 before Catalan had touched the ball.
But the Dragons hit back on eight minutes as Scott Dureau's crossfield kick was plucked out of the air by Vincent Duport, who twisted over to score. Dureau missed the conversion, just as he did for the Dragons' two subsequent first-half tries.
Another error gifted Huddersfield an immediate riposte, as the Dragons allowed the kick-off to go into touch and from the scrum Brough's long pass cut out two men and found Aaron Murphy, who stepped inside Damian Blanch's lunge to score his 13th Super League try of season. Brough missed the kick.
After just 11 minutes there were four tries on the board after Scott Grix knocked on a high kick on the 20-metre line and Frederic Vaccari finished well in corner.
It was the Giants' turn to score next and they obliged when Brough stabbed through a delicate grubber kick and Ferres scooped it up before finishing well. Brough stretched the lead to 16-8.
The Huddersfield defence continued to look leaky and when McGillvary failed to deal with a high kick, moments later Blanch darted over from close-range dummy half to score.
Catalan were looking for back-to-back tries when McGillvary made amends by intercepting a looping delayed pass by Leon Pryce and raced 60 metres to score. Brough converted for a 22-12 lead.
The run of tit-for-tat scores was finally broken by a Brough penalty on the half-time hooter, moments after Dureau was sin-binned for interfering with a 20-metre re-start, a foolish act which summed up Catalans' lack of discipline.
Vincent Duport could have got Catalan back into the game just a minute after the break but the video referee spotted a knock-on in the grounding.
Huddersfield quickly increased the lead as Ferres offloaded one-handed for Luke George to scoop up and score, with Brough stretching the lead to 30-12.
A dummy and muscular finish from Zeb Taia gave Catalan a glimmer of hope, but the game was up before the hour mark when Dale Ferguson burst up the middle and put Shaun Lunt in under the posts.
With the Dragons fading fast, Ferres completed his first hat-trick for Huddersfield from Larne Patrick's pass before McGillvary was first to Luke Robinson's well-weighted kick.
McGillvary went in at the corner for his hat-trick and from the subsequent short kick-off Cudjoe scored a long-range try and Brough kicked his 10th goal.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|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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