Huddersfield Giants 30-18 Salford Red Devils: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

It’s been a magic day in Newcastle for Huddersfield as the Giants got back on track to defeat Salford after the announcement that Ian Watson will be staying until 2026.

Branded as just the beginning by Watson, it’s worrying times for the rest of the league.

Highlights:

Toby the King at poaching high kicks
There might not be a player better in the league at snatching high kicks and turning them into points. Last week Huddersfield didn’t exploit this strength at Castleford but within minutes of today’s game they made sure to fix that with King claiming a high kick and going on to score.

Trout tears through
Owen Trout might be one of the best but most underrated youngsters in the league and he showed exactly why by hitting a strong line to tear through and score

Senior the saviour
After a sluggish start, Salford slowly grew back into the game with plenty of sharp ball movement which began to stretch the Giants and it very nearly culminated in a try but for a scrambling tackle from Innes Senior dragging Ken Sio into touch after Kallum Watkins popped up round the back to release the winger showing the benefit of having Watkins at second-row.

McQueen snatches another try
Only Bevan French, Ash Handley, Jai Field, Ken Sio and Tommy Makinson have more tries than Chris McQueen in Super League who today notched his 12th try of the Super League season today. He showed his poachers instinct to exploit a probing Danny Levi kick which caused disarray in the Salford defence.

Cross crosses for try
Deon Cross has proven to be a very savvy signing especially due to his tendency to get over a try and crucially poached another one here to give Salford hope before the break. Unfortunately that hope was snuffed out by another try

Giants show the width of their attack
After having plenty of joy down the left – even though they didn’t quite receive the fruits of their labour – the Giants reminded Salford that their attack is just as potent down the right with a nice move putting Jermaine McGillvary in for a try that appeared to kill the game.

Croft carves them open
By now it’s well documented how brilliant Brodie Croft is at carving through defenders but if you needed a reminder he certainly delivered today with a delightful try weaving in and out defenders to score.

Sam Luckley’s Alan Shearer tribute
Home town boy Sam Luckley got the try he no doubt dreamed of last night as he supported another probing run from Croft and an offload to Luckley who scored and then produced his best Alan Shearer impression emulating his signature celebration.

Talking Points:

Something special about second halves at the Magic Weekend
In yesterday’s games no side ahead at the break went on to win as in the second halves plenty of drama unfolded in every single game. Points galore seemed to come in great second halves which added to the story of the weekend and that seemed to continue today with a mini Salford comeback thanks to a delightful double created by Brodie Croft to make a game of a contest that seemed dead.

Salford show their class in defeat
Although decidedly second best, Salford reminded everyone in Newcastle that they have the tools to be a threat in the play-off hunt. Their attack was still a joy to watch particularly Brodie Croft who had a superb second half. Also their general ball movement caused Huddersfield plenty of problems.

Watson not done
Before the game, it was announced that Ian Watson had signed a new deal at Huddersfield to keep him at the club until 2026 saying on Sky that this is simply the beginning. So, if this is just the beginning of his project the rest of the league better worry because if Watson has his way the Giants are just going to get better and better. Could they become the fifth team to win the Grand Final?

Player Ratings:

Huddersfield Giants
6 Tui Lolohea – 8
2 Jermaine McGillvary – 8
21 Leroy Cudjoe – 7
37 Toby King – 8
25 Innes Senior – 7
23 Olly Russell – 7
7 Theo Fages – 7
17 Owen Trout – 6
9 Danny Levi – 8
15 Joe Greenwood – 7
29 Sam Hewitt – 8
12 Chris McQueen – 8
13 Luke Yates – 8
Substitutes
5 Ash Golding – 7
14 Matty English – 7
26 Nathan Mason – 6
27 Jack Ashworth – 6

Salford Red Devils
1 Ryan Brierley – 7
2 Ken Sio – 7
28 Deon Cross – 7
4 Tim Lafai – 7
22 Rhys Williams – 5
6 Brodie Croft – 8
7 Marc Sneyd – 5
19 Jack Ormondroyd – 7
9 Andy Ackers – 6
8 Sitaleki Akauola – 6
17 Harvey Livett – 6
3 Kallum Watkins – 7
29 Alex Gerrard – 6
Substitutes
13 Elijah Taylor – 5
18 Chris Atkin – 5
26 Sam Luckley – 7
32 Tyler Dupree – 5

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