Huddersfield 22-29 Catalans: Dragons spoil Jake Mamo debut
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/04/17 11:04pm
A man-of-the-match performance by Jake Mamo on his Super League debut was not enough to prevent Huddersfield crashing to a 29-22 home defeat by Catalans Dragons.
The pony-tailed 22-year-old former Newcastle Knights full-back, who arrived in the country with a broken ankle, scored a try and produced a series of dashing runs on his eagerly-awaited first appearance for the Giants but it was scant consolation as they were left without a win in seven games.
The Dragons, who gave a debut to prop Lambert Belmas in the absence of Luke Burgess and Jason Baitieri, trailed 10-6 when Mamo scored his try on 35 minutes but they bossed the show in the second half to secure their second away win in six days.
Huddersfield had no answer to the kicking game of half-backs Luke Walsh and Richie Myler or the series of offloads that had them constantly backpedalling.
In a stop-start first half, the Catalans enjoyed the early pressure, with second rower Louis Anderson stopped short of the line and centre Krisnan Inu narrowly failing to touch down Myler's high kick.
Huddersfield took the lead on 12 minutes when Darnell McIntosh, switched to the wing to accommodate Mamo, palmed Danny Brough's kick into the arms of his centre Aaron Murphy and Brough converted the try from the touchline.
The visitors were soon level, however, as classy full-back Tony Gigot sidestepped his way through the Giants defence for his second try in two games since having his two-year anti-doping ban cut to three months.
Mamo restored his side's lead when he pounced on a loose ball following centre Sam Wood's speculative grubber kick but the crucial moment came just before half-time.
Substitute second rower Oliver Roberts smashed a hole in the Dragons defence only to lose the ball in his eventual tackle and the Catalans counter-attacked with venom, centre Brayden Wiliame showing a nice turn of pace to hold off the cover after being put through a gap by Myler's short pass.
Walsh's second goal gave the French side a 12-10 interval lead and they built on that early in the second half when Myler touched down Walsh's precise kick after they kept the ball alive on the last tackle.
Huddersfield's misery was compounded when acting captain Brough was sin-binned by referee Chris Campbell for dissent and the Catalans used the extra man to work winger Vincent Duport over for their fourth try after 55 minutes.
There was no way back for the home side when Walsh intercepted a pass from the returning Brough to scamper over for the clinching try five minutes later.
The Giants grabbed late consolation tries through England winger Jermaine McGillvary and Wood, both goaled from the touchline by Brough, while Gigot wrapped up his side's scoring with a drop goal.