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Super League: Danny Brough secures 24-24 draw for Huddersfield at Warrington
A last-minute drop goal from Danny Brough earned Huddersfield Giants a 24-24 draw with Warrington Wolves on a night of high drama at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday.
A pair of tries in the space of five minutes from utility forward Ben Harrison - both converted by Gareth O’Brien, who ended the night with a personal tally of 12 points – put the Wolves within 12 minutes of extending their hex over Huddersfield to 11 matches.
However, a precision drop goal from 2013 Man of Steel Brough saw the Giants snatch a draw from the claws of defeat and end their drought against the Wolves after a match that had ebbed and flowed throughout.
Earlier, three tries in eight minutes from Chris Bailey, Ukuma Ta’ai and Shaun Lunt, combined with seven points via the boot of Danny Brough, had seen the Giants take a comfortable 19-6 lead into the break having trailed following O’Brien’s early score.
Jodie Broughton extended Huddersfield’s advantage with a sensational try shortly after the break before a Ryan Atkins try and Harrison's brace set up a grandstand finale, in which Brough eventually stole the limelight.
It was a typically flamboyant opening from the Wolves with Super League’s leading try-scorer Joel Monaghan and scrum-half Richie Myler threatening to break Huddersfield’s early resilience.
Towering Giants prop Eorl Crabtree and Brough excelled in defence as the visitors kept the ravenous Wolves at bay, though, their resistance was eventually halted in the 18th minute.
Moments after making a try-save kick to deny Myler, Giants hooker Luke Robinson was left to lament a lack of concentration as he was sold an excellent dummy from O’Brien, who glided over the whitewash before adding the extras.
Huddersfield’s riposte was emphatic, though, with three tries in quick succession turning the fixture on its head.
A characteristically opportunistic grubber from Brough, stabbed neatly into the in-goal area, allowed Bailey to touch down the Giants’ first score of the night as the Wolves defence wavered.
Brough’s goal levelled the scores but parity was short-lived with Tongan international Ta’ai racing in his 10th try of the 2014 campaign. Lunt then wrestled his way over four minutes later as the Giants transformed a six-point deficit into a 12-point advantage.
A drop-goal on the cusp of half-time extended Huddersfield’s lead to 19-6 at the break, and saw Brough overtake former Wolves stand-off and Salford Red Devils coach Iestyn Harris into eighth in the all-time Super League points-scorers list.
The Giants maintained the ascendancy in the second half and reaped the rewards shortly after the restart as Broughton raced home from 90 metres out after an offload from Lunt, though Brough’s failure to convert proved costly.
Warrington refused to lie down, however, and when Atkins crossed just before the hour there was a renewed sense of hope and increased volume among the Wolves faithful.
From thereon in the far-from capacity crowd had little time to draw breath as Harrison pierced the stoic Huddersfield defence twice and O’Brien held his nerve to dispatch both conversions and put Warrington into the lead.
A serious-looking injury to Rhys Evans threatened to mar the game’s conclusion with the Warrington winger in need of on-field treatment before being taken away in a neck brace after crashing head first into the turf attempting to score a fifth Wolves try.
Brough ensured there was a late twist still to come, his one-pointer landing in amongst the delighted band of travelling Giants fans.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalan Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalan 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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