Huddersfield needed a late drop goal from half-back Jack Cogger to secure a 17-16 victory and prevent plucky Toulouse from earning their first Super League away win; two tries from winger Innes Senior helped spare Huddersfield blushes
Last update: 20/05/22 23:46
Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Toulouse
Australian Jack Cogger has returned from a three-match ban to play a key role in Huddersfield Giants’ latest win against bottom-placed Super League club Toulouse.
With a week to go before the Challenge Cup final, the Giants trailed for most of the game and were trailing 16-6 when Matty Russell scored Toulouse’s third try five minutes into the second half.
However, two tries from winger Innes Senior helped spare Huddersfield the blushes and broke the hearts of the visiting Frenchman.
“It was a big blow for Jack,” Giants head coach Ian Watson said. “He likes to practice them in training and they don’t always go over.
“The main thing was to get a result, but we were really sloppy in the first half. We were a different team in the second half, but if we want to be a top team, we can’t take away the week before a cup final. We will learn a lot from that.
“Maybe we had next week in mind. That’s always the worry when you haven’t been to a cup final before. They all want to get through this game.
“But I don’t want to take anything away from Toulouse. I thought they were really good, especially in the first half.
“Corey Norman has added them and he will be a huge plus for them going forward.”
It was a less than impressive performance from Watson’s side and they were injured ahead of next Saturday’s showdown with Wigan at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when half-back Oliver Russell was ejected from action after 21 minutes.
Huddersfield were only missing scrum-half Theo Fages and second rower Chris McQueen from their likely squad for the cup final, although Cogger, who was back from a three-match ban, could get his chance next. next week if Russell is ruled out.
The French side got off to a poor start with Lucas Albert kicking off deep and repeating the error after Huddersfield’s first-half try, but Toulouse’s tactical kicks were generally impressive as they kept their hosts stuck in their own half for long periods of time. of the first half.
They went ahead after six minutes when Albert’s spot-kick tricked Tui Lolohea and allowed former Huddersfield full-back Olly Ashall-Bott to hit the ground for the game’s first try, which Chris Hankinson scored .
The Giants equalized 10 minutes later when second rower Sam Hewitt touched Lolohea’s tricky grubber and the fullback added the conversion.
The French side, buoyed by a big win over Wakefield, regained the lead midway through the first half when prop Romain Navarette breached the Huddersfield line and held their pursuers at a canter from 40 yards to a remarkable solo try, which Hankinson scored for a 12-6 lead.
The loss of Russell forced a reshuffle in Huddersfield’s back division, with Ashton Golding moving up to full-back and Lolohea moving into the halves, but their defensive problems continued into the start of the second half as Russell cut inside the wing. to catch them on the wrong foot and rush in for a try.
It made it 16-6, but the Giants eventually managed to hold onto the ball long enough to put their opponents under sustained pressure.
A 40-20 kick from Cogger gave his team the perfect attacking platform and busy hooker Danny Levi was held over the line while Joe Greenwood and Luke Yates were tackled narrowly.
The pressure finally came on when center Ricky Leutele produced a sweet pass for Senior to pass on his first try and Lolohea’s sideline conversion cut the deficit to four points.
Toulouse looked to be on their feet in the final quarter and it was no surprise when Senior scored his second try, this time through a pass from Golding, to level the scores eight minutes from time.
Lolohea were wide with the conversion attempt but Huddersfield went ahead for the first time five minutes later with a drop goal from Cogger and hung on for an eighth win of the season.