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Sensational comeback from Huddersfield in vain as they lose 14-try thriller

Ian Watson is widely regarded as a sensational coach and the man you want in charge of a club with ambitions of climbing the table.

This is because he has guided two teams to three major finals.

In 2019 he took Salford Red Devils to an inaugural Grand Final after they started the season as second favourites for relegation.

A year later he took the club to Wembley for the first time in decades in his last season at the club and then at his new club in his second season with Huddersfield Giants he took them to the Challenge Cup Final where they were four minutes away from winning till a Liam Marshall try gave Wigan Warriors the trophy and broke Huddersfield hearts.

Right now the Giants are struggling. A cup run could rekindle their season but his former club stood in the way as they both started on the road to Wembley tonight starting from the AJ Bell Stadium.

However, needing a response, the Giants were 12 down within nine minutes.

This came thanks to a lovely move down the left which released Joe Burgess with the winger finding Matty Costello down the middle.

Salford then doubled their money with a try that was too easy from Alex Gerrard as he powered over under the sticks.

Things got worse for the Giants before the 19th minute after a lovely grubber kick through for Kallum Watkins to score.

Salford scored a fourth try though this one was interesting as there was a suspicion Rhys Williams had lost the ball to Will Pryce as he scored.

However, the winger was deemed to have grounded it after good work from Kallum Watkins.

Up against it, the Giants battled back with two quick tries as returning star Theo Fages pulled the string against his former club teeing up Sam Hewitt before doing the same for Luke Yates making it 24-12.

Salford thought they had struck a key blow before the break after a beautiful short side play with Joe Burgess released but his ball inside was forward to Chris Atkin.

Remarkably, Huddersfield then continued their sensational comeback as Jake Bibby grounded a lovely kick to the corner after good work from Joe Greenwood and co. Connor missed the conversion after creating the try but it left the score 24-16 after a bizarre first half with the Giants going 24-0 down before making it 24-16.

Back in the game, the Giants were right back in the mix in the second half as the three substitutes combined with Joe Greenwood offloading to Tui Lolohea and the stand in hooker dropping the ball off to Yates who carved through to make it 24-22.

Game on but Salford’s wingers would soon change that. Joe Burgess would reclaim the Red Devils’ eight point lead as he grounded a probing Marc Sneyd kick and then his break and a lovely kick over to Rhys Williams saw him cross for another try.

That made it 36-22 before a brilliant break by Deon Cross led to a Sneyd try making it 42-22 but that wasn’t game over just yet as an altercation between Jake Connor and Oli Partington gave Huddersfield a penalty and then Lolohea pinched a try.

The Giants scored again with five minutes to go with Theo Fages weaving through and finding Kevin Naiqama to score.

Then the Giants set up a sensational grand stand finish as Will Pryce broke down field after claiming a kick and then Luke Yates completed his hat-trick on the back of a lovely short ball from Theo Fages.

Huddersfield had a last effort in the final minute with a penalty giving them a huge chance of snatching the win but the Red Devils held on to claim a famous win.

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