LAST season it was Scott Dureau who broke the Giants’ hearts with a vital late drop goal.
This time it was Thomas Bosc who inflicted the pain on Huddersfield as they missed the chance to return to the top of the Super League XVII table.
Memories of Dureau’s one-pointer in the Dragons’ 13-12 triumph in Perpignan just over a year ago are still fresh in the memory.
But now it’s Bosc whose name will haunt the Giants after he banged over a crucial drop goal with four minutes remaining to make it 21-20 after a truly pulsating encounter in the south of France.
Huddersfield desperately tried to gain possession from the re-start, but that failed to happen and within seconds, Vincent Duport had rubbed salt into the wounds by storming over for his side’s fifth try – and Bosc calmly added on the extras.
It was cruel indeed on the visitors, who for so long looked as if they had the mental and physical strength to steal the contest at the death.
All five of last week’s rested Giants returned to the fold, but it was the hosts who started the stronger, with plenty of aggression both on attack and defence.
Fortunately, the Giants were up to the task and on their first attack after seven minutes, Brown’s long cut-out pass put Luke George over, but it was ruled forward.
Both teams then created several half-chances before the Dragons eventually took the lead after 15 minutes – and just as a torrential downpour reached its peak.
On the sixth tackle, Dureau kicked to the corner and over the heads of several players and straight to the fortunate Damien Cardace, who simply picked up and strolled over amid protests from the Giants that the ball had hit a Catalan hand on the way through to him.
Yet such was the see-saw nature of the contest that it was no surprise when Huddersfield took the lead for the first time eight minutes later, when the alert Luke Robinson took a quick tap penalty on halfway and shot through to finish under the posts for Danny Brough to add the extras.
It was just what they deserved, with Luke O’Donnell and Jason Chan having been held up on the line and a Brough grubber forcing a goal-line drop-out just a few minutes earlier.
That lead was short-lived, however, with Catalan regaining the lead in the 27th minute after Clint Greenshields shot into the line five metres out and slid over for a second unconverted score for the Frenchmen.
Again, the visitors were able to find the perfect response.
The Dragons knocked-on from the re-start and from the subsequent set, the position was created for Dale Ferguson to charge over with his first touch of the contest. Brough’s goal made it 12-8.