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Thorman hits superb brace!

Giants 36 - 12 Barrow. IT had been billed as the glorious return of star man Stanley Gene.

Giants 36 - 12 Barrow. IT had been billed as the glorious return of star man Stanley Gene.

Chris Thorman (running with the ball) 158

Yet it was the performance of half-back partner Chris Thorman that shone out as the unbeaten Giants maintained their lead at the top of the table.

Gene's superb 50th-minute solo score may have brought the loudest cheer of the day.

But it was Thorman's two first-half tries which were the more significant.

Had it not been for the individual brilliance of the Newcastle-born half-back, life for the Giants could have been an awful lot harder.

His two solo tries in the 22nd and 30th minutes finally broke Barrow's brave resistance and enabled Huddersfield to go on to better and brighter things.

Before Thorman had struck with his double, the visitors were looking good value for their 6-2 lead.

Early penalty exchanges between Thorman - again goalkicking in the absence of Steve McNamara who continues to struggle with a niggly leg injury - and Phil Atkinson had set the ball rolling.

But Barrow then began to assert some authority.

Only a great defensive pick-up by Darren Turner from a Darren Holt kick-through denied the visitors a 10th-minute try.

Yet three minutes later they had struck for the first time as Cliff Beverley gathered his own kick and released Mike Whitehead to charge over in the corner.

It desperately needed someone to steady the Giants ship - and that someone was Thorman.

Even during the shaky opening, Thorman looked the likeliest to cut through.

And his early efforts had paid off by the 22nd minute.

His chip over the Barrow defence may have taken a slight deflection, but he was on hand to follow up, regather and reach out to score.

He added the conversion and the Giants had hit the front for the first time.

Atkinson should have levelled the scores with a penalty, but saw his effort shoot wide.

And that miss was to prove costly as Thorman added try No2.

Darren Turner's run on the sixth tackle caught Barrow guessing and his inside pass sent Thorman scorching through to beat the cover and touch down under the posts.

Thorman again converted. It was 14-6 and the Giants could start to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Darren Turner (running with the ball) 158

The departure of Turner with a heavy bang to the left knee which had undergone reconstruction last year threatened to spoil the party.

Yet with news quickly filtering back to the players that the damage was not as bad as first feared, the Giants continued to step up the pace.

With Turner's replacement, Adam Hayes, making a solid impact, more tries looked inevitable.

In fact, Hayes played a vital role in try No3, combining with Thorman to send Paul Reilly stepping beyond several perplexed defenders on a dazzling jink to the line.

Thorman was again on target, and a 20-6 advantage was clearly a satisfactory scoreline.

But the early second half suggested things were about to get a great deal better.

Within four minutes of the restart Hefin O'Hare had ripped the Barrow defence apart with a dazzling 60-yard burst.

And on the next play Thorman's long pass picked out Ben Cooper, who fed Chris Langley to squeeze in at the corner.

Stanley Gene (running with the ball) 158

Then six minutes later, it was the moment all Huddersfield fans had been waiting for - Gene's first try of the campaign.

The 27-year-old had threatened to break through on several occasions, and in the 50th minute he was not to be denied.

Collecting the ball 30 yards out, he brushed aside the first defender and then brushed aside another before stepping round full-back Danny Lockhart to score under the posts.

Yet rather than inspire the Giants on to greater things, the home side retreated into their shell.

The sin-binning of Rob Roberts for holding down after he had chased back to save a potential try lifted Barrow's fortunes.

And with 13 minutes remaining Matt Leigh charged over from the scrum for the visitors' second try.

That, at least, brought the Giants back to life.

Gene, Langley, Hayes and Roberts were all thwarted, while Reilly took the wrong option following a stunning break.

But in the final minute the home side scored their sixth try.

That resulted from some excellent interplay between Roberts, Dave Atkins and McNamara who all combined in a tight spot to send Graeme Hallas crashing over.

With a dazed Thorman off the field, Roberts safely added the conversion and another two League points had been claimed.


Huddersfield Giants Reilly; O'Hare, Crabtree, Cooper, Langley; Gene, Thorman (Atkins 66mins); Slicker (Rice 51mins), Turner (Hayes 33mins), Wittenberg (Molyneux 23mins, Wittenberg 64mins) Roberts, Atkins (Hallas 57mins), McNamara.

Tries - Thorman (22mins & 30mins), Reilly (34mins), Langley (44mins), Gene (50mins), Hallas (79mins).

Goals - Thorman 5 from 6, Roberts 1 from 1.

Sin-binning - Roberts (holding down, 61mins)

Barrow Border Raiders - Lockhart; Salmon, Atkinson, Marsh (Bowker 57mins), Irabor; Beverley, Holt; Liku (Massey 23mins, Leigh 64mins), Henderson, Burns (Whitter 21mins), Jackson, Whitehead, Leigh (Luxon 57mins).

Tries - Whitehead (13mins), Leigh (67mins).

Goals - Atkinson 2 from 4.

Half-time - 20-6.

Referee - Steve Ganson (St Helens).

Attendance - 2,190.

Scrums won - Huddersfield 8, Barrow 9.

Penalties conceded - Huddersfield 11, Barrow 5.

Top Huddersfield tacklers - Molyneux 23, Rice 23, Atkins 21, Roberts 21, Wittenberg 21, Cooper 17.

Next game - Away to Batley next Sunday (3.00).

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