Huddersfield Giants have had a rough year but are still in the mix with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils for the play-offs after a win over the former.
It was the Giants back to their best with effort and commitment on show as they nailed the basics to dominate the game against the Rhinos.
Their performance was embodied by a moment when Sam Halsall rushed over and tackled Sam Lisone who was storming towards the line. Halsall banged his head in the tackle and was taken off for an assessment which he passed.
Ian Watson praised the tackle after the game: “Sam’s head across to make the tackle there and it is a hell of a tackle to be fair, it might have won us the game, which is what I was saying to Sam when he was coming off the pitch.
“He’s put his body on the line there, nobody else is kind of winning it.”
He was also asked if there should have been punishment for Lisone who may have struck him an elbow.
Watson said the Match Review Panel might look at it: “Whether he’s got him with an elbow or something I don’t know.
“It’s something they’ll have to look at, maybe the match review panel will look at it but it’s just saying one man trying to score a try and another man determined that he’s not scoring a try.”
The Rhinos started quickly with a superb break down the left as Harry Newman and Ash Handley combined. With Newman taken late Leeds were given a penalty but the centre was taken off for a Head Injury Assessment.
The Giants’ early cover defence should be commended and it ensured that the Giants got the first try via Sam Halsall.
After the ball was kept alive in the middle of the field, the ball was shifted wide and the young winger finished in the corner.
Sadly the game was then stopped for 15 minutes after James Bentley chased a high Aidan Sezer kick only to collide with the knee of an airborne Jake Connor.
Bentley was stretchered off and placed in an ambulance after a 15 minute delay on the field.
After which Leeds conceded a somewhat controversial try with Kevin Naiqama capitalising on an error.
It would be a similar story for their third try as they took a 16-0 lead with Tui Lolohea grounding a kick Ash Handley was unable to deal with.
The Giants thought they had reached the 20 point mark when a great play caught out Newman and Handley with Esan Marsters trying to squeeze in at the corner but Leeds scrambled well.
Leeds needed to score next and had a decent chance after Aidan Sezer drilled the ball behind the Giants defence and Handley forced a penalty.
Then a lovely inside ball from Walters saw Luke Hooley make it two tries in two games.
Huddersfield again looked set to score in the corner but again Leeds scrambled well to deny the try and an incident broke out leading to a yellow card for Sam Hewitt seconds after coming on.
Without him, Sam Hewitt was able to tear through the Giants defence and find Handley in the corner to score and make it 16-12.
Leeds thought they were going to score again as Cameron Smith tore through the middle and found Sam Lisone in support. Lisone looked to wrong foot Sam Halsall and caught him with an elbow.
After that, Jake Connor kicked a brilliant 40/20 and from there the Giants earned a penalty and extended their lead to 18-12.
The Giants twice thought they scored in the same set in the second half as they looked to wrap up the win but were denied by official Marcus Griffiths.
The Giants though did get the extra point they needed with a Jake Connor drop goal four minutes from time to make it 19-12.
Will Pryce then notched a penalty to make it 21-12.