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Leigh Leopards Secure Narrow Win Against Huddersfield Giants

Leigh Leopards Secure Narrow Win Against Huddersfield Giants

Betfred Super League

Huddersfield (0) 10

Tries: Hewitt, Naiqama Goals: Russell

Leigh (14) 16

Tries: Charnley, Ipape Goals: Moylan 4

Leigh Leopards secured back-to-back Super League victories by narrowly defeating Huddersfield Giants in a tense encounter.

The visitors appeared to be cruising at halftime, leading with converted tries from veteran winger Josh Charnley and Edwin Ipape, alongside a Matt Moylan penalty.

The Giants’ Oliver Russell was sin-binned when Leigh scored their second try. However, the Leopards ended the first half with only 11 men after Ed Chamberlain and Frankie Halton received yellow cards, flanking Russell’s return to the field.

Huddersfield scored their first try through Sam Hewitt early in the second half, but another Moylan penalty – his fourth successful kick – extended Leigh’s lead to 12 points.

Kevin Naiqama’s late try and Russell’s conversion reduced the deficit to six points. Leigh then lost Warrington Wolves loan player Brad Dwyer to a third yellow card, setting up a nervy final three minutes. Despite the pressure, Huddersfield couldn’t break through again.

Leigh’s fourth league win of 2024 came against a Huddersfield side still reeling from a 46-10 Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Warrington and missing star player Jake Connor due to a knee injury.

Leigh took the lead in the 11th minute when Josh Charnley crossed in the left corner, with Moylan adding a superb conversion. A Moylan penalty extended the lead before Russell was sin-binned for a high tackle. Leigh capitalized quickly, with Ipape bursting through to score from dummy half.

Chamberlain was sin-binned for persistent foul play, and Halton followed for a late tackle on Adam Clune. Hewitt’s try for Huddersfield came after the break from Clune’s short pass, but Naiqama’s late try wasn’t enough to change the outcome. Dwyer’s late sin-binning for a trip added to the drama but Leigh held on.

Huddersfield boss Ian Watson:

“There was a lot of effort and desire from both sides and the fact there were only two tries apiece showed that.

“They probably had a player in Matt Moylan who was very smart in what he was doing on the back of Lachlan Lam.

“We gave too many penalties away in the first half and maybe we could have been a bit smarter with some opportunities.

“There are little moments we need to learn from, including discipline, but, if we have that effort, we’ll be all right. We just need to be a bit more clinical and disciplined.”

Leigh coach Adrian Lam:

“I’ve aged a few years. But I’m very proud of the boys because there was a point in the first half when we went down to 11. And it’s a difficult enough game to play with 13 players, let alone 12 or 11.

“There were some really tough calls, especially the sin-binning for Chamberlain. I was a bit frustrated with a lot of the decisions and the stoppages but I don’t want to take away from what the boys did.

“The way we hung in together as a group, we weren’t pretty at times, but you saw our desperation for each other.

“Matt Moylan is finding his rhythm in that position at stand-off and long may it continue.”

Huddersfield: Lolohea, Halsall, Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis, Russell, Clune, Hill, Deakin, Yates, Murchie, Hewitt, Cudjoe.

Interchanges: Golding, Ikahihifo, Rushton, Wilson.

Sin-bin: Russell (28).

Leigh: Hardaker, Hanley, Chamberlain, Leutele, Charnley, Moylan, Lam, Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Halton, Trout.

Interchanges: Norman, Hughes, McIntosh, Dwyer.

Sin-bin: Chamberlain (34), Halton (39), Dwyer (77).

Referee: James Vella.

Credit: BBC Sport

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