Heroic Huddersfield Giants are the minor Super League champions!

For the first time in 81 years, the men in claret and gold have finished the season at the very top of British rugby league.

And after their destruction of plucky Wakefield Trinity Wildcats no-one could deny the Giants deserved their moment of glory.

Head coach Paul Anderson’s men dominated from start to finish, with a dazzling attacking display backed up by an equally dominant defensive display as Huddersfield made it eight top-flight triumphs on the trot.

That was their 21st victory from 26 starts, and in this form – and mood – there’s no reason at all why they can’t back up this first piece of major silverware since 1932 with Super League XVIII Grand Final success at Old Trafford in a month’s time.

If the Giants were feeling a little nervous on their biggest of days, they hardly showed it with the opening they made to the contest.

Both sides were clearly fired-up from the start, with a second-minute free-for-all proving how high the stakes were.

The brawl resulted in a penalty for the hosts as a result of a high shot by Paul Aiton on Eorl Crabtree – and also paved the way for the first of the Giants’ three tries as the minor Champions-elect opened up a thoroughly-deserved 18-0 interval advantage.

With play taken to the Wakefield line, fit-again hooker Shaun Lunt drove the ball in and fed the alert Jason Chan to scoop up the pieces and stroll over with ease.

Skipper Danny Brough landed the conversion, and the Giants were on their way.

 

The impressive Craig Kopczak almost helped double his side’s lead straight from the restart with a rampaging 70 metre charge.

However, there was no denying coach Anderson’s men in the 13th minute.

Once again, great approach work forced the Wildcats onto the back foot and Luke Robinson took full advantage to hand Brett Ferres a lovely short ball to run through.

At this stage, it was all one-way traffic, with Wakefield having to concede numerous penalties and being place on a team warning in a desperate attempt to keep their West Yorkshire rivals at bay.

But despite the visitors’ best efforts, there was nothing they could do to prevent try No3 in the 24th minute when Chan showed amazing strength to touch the ball down from close range site being surrounded by a posse of defenders.

That lead came close to being extended, but good Wakefield defence forced Jermaine McGillvary to be held up over the line.

However, with an 18-point half-time lead, the Giants were in complete control, with their defence also in such dominant form.

The Giants continued to dominate at the start of the second period and extended their lead within two minutes of the restart when Brough’s delightful pick-up led the way to Joe Wardle feeding Aaron Murphy for a walk-in.

More inventive Brough play opened up the Wakefield defence six minutes later when he jinked through and created the opening for Leroy Cudjoe to draw his man and flick the pass out of the back door for McGillvary to finish strongly.

After missing his earlier conversion attempt, Brough made no mistake second time around to make it 28-0.

Murphy almost got his second moments later but Brough’s long, looping ‘try-scoring’ pass was ruled forward by referee Tim Roby.

But his side’s sixth try did eventually come with nine minutes remaining when Cudjoe again released McGillvary to finish smartly.

Crabtree came desperately close to scoring with a minute remaining when he was held up over the line, but seconds later Lunt crossed with a jinking run to complete the try tally, with Brough putting the icing on the cake by bringing up the 40-point mark and a historic night was complete.