Huddersfield 28-32 Catalans: Sam Tomkins hat-trick slays Giants
Last Updated: 12/07/19 11:19pm
Sam Tomkins scored a first-half hat-trick as Catalans boosted their Super League play-off prospects with a hard-fought 32-28 victory which reawakened Huddersfield's relegation fears.
The England full-back's clinical finishing laid the platform for an impressive opening 40 minutes from Steve McNamara's men, who led 22-12 at the break.
Centre Brayden Wiliame also touched down for the Dragons during while Innes Senior and Jake Wardle were Huddersfield's first-half scorers.
Catalans underlined their superiority with a second-half double from winger Jodie Broughton but further home tries by Darnell McIntosh, Lee Gaskell, and Senior in the final quarter ensured a tense finale.
The French visitors ended a five-match losing streak when beating Wakefield at home last weekend and this was another step in the right direction for McNamara's men.
For Huddersfield, despite their spirited late rally, this was a major setback after they had won at Salford last week to halt a run of four successive defeats.
The result leaves the Giants just two points above bottom-placed London and in the thick of the scrap to avoid the drop.
Tomkins, a close-season signing from Wigan, opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he collected Samisoni Langi's pass and showed delightful footwork to dummy his way through a statuesque Huddersfield defence.
Tomkins added the simple conversion and claimed his second try seven minutes later.
Langi found Tony Gigot and the stand-off's teasing grubber kick bounced invitingly for Tomkins to ground the ball for a try he converted to make it 12-0.
Huddersfield had some respite in the 22nd minute when the ball was worked out to homegrown winger Senior, who touched down in the left corner.
But five minutes later the Dragons scored their third try when centre Wiliame finished off a slick handling sequence inside the left channel.
Catalans always gave the impression they could move through the gears when the opportunities arose and so it proved in the 34th minute as Tomkins completed his treble.
Gaskell made a vital challenge to deny Antoni Mari but Tomkins collected possession on the next tackle and dived over the line for a try he again improved.
Two minutes before the interval, a teasing kick from scrum-half Tom Holmes was seized upon by Wardle, who added his second conversion from as many attempts to make it 22-12 at the break.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Broughton finished clinically in the left corner and then did likewise from a similar position shortly before the hour mark.
McIntosh went over from close range in the 63rd minute for a try which Wardle converted before Gaskell scythed through the visiting defence for a fine individual score while Catalans lost Kenny Edwards to the sin-bin late on.
Huddersfield made their numerical advantage pay with two minutes remaining when Senior crossed in the left corner for his second try and Wardle's fourth goal cut the gap to four points - but Catalans held on.