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Huddersfield Giants suffer worst defeat of season 52-14 at Salford Red Devils

Three tries but Rick Stone's side are embarrassed

Huddersfield Giants' Dale Ferguson in a charge forward. Picture by John Rushworth

Huddersfield suffered their worst defeat of the season as they were embarrassed 52-14 by a Salford side that had lost 10 of their previous 11 in Super League.

Salford hadn’t won a game since they beat the Giants at the same venue back in July , but they had this one won by half-time when they were 30-4 up.

Maun Vatuvei and Kris Welham scored two apiece for the Red Devils while all Huddersfield could muster in reply were tries from Jermaine McGillvary, Oliver Roberts and Ryan Hinchcliffe.

It was a dismal showing from the Giants, who had finished the season so well with eight wins in their last 12 coming into the game.

Without injured captain Leroy Cudjoe, Alex Mellor moved to the centres while Dale Ferguson was restored to the second row after missing last week’s game against Castleford.

Salford had lost 10 of their last 11 Super League games but came into the game with an extremely remote chance of a top four finish.

Boss Ian Watson switched full-back Gareth O’Brien to the half-backs in place of Todd Carney while brothers Adam and Jordan Walne were named on the bench.

In front of just 1,405 fans - the lowest crowd in Super League this season - Huddersfield suffered the worst possible start and were 8-0 down inside just six minutes.

O’Brien kicked a third-minute penalty after Huddersfield were guilty of not playing the ball correctly and, moments later, a Robert Lui bomb was spilled allowing Kris Welham an easy opportunity to touch down. O’Brien again kicked the goal.

Giants winger Gene Ormsby blew a golden opportunity to get his team off the mark when he opted for an acrobatic finish at the corner with the tryline at his mercy and was knocked into touch. A more conventional dive for the line and the former Warrington man would surely have scored.

That missed opportunity took on added significance as Salford scored their second try in the 13th minute.

Tyrone McCarthy caught the Huddersfield defence off guard with a lunge for the line from dummy half and O’Brien’s conversion made it 14-0 to Salford.

Things got even worse for the Giants when Salford scored a third try 13 minutes before half-time.

Winger Manu Vatuvei proved unstoppable from close range and he was able to ground the ball despite the attentions of three Giants defenders.

O’Brien was off target with the conversion but he wouldn’t have long to wait for another crack at goal as Welham scored his second try a few minutes later.

Full-back Niall Evalds got Salford’s fifth try in the 33rd minute, capitalising on some slack Huddersfield defence as the ball was kept moving along the line. O’Brien kicked the conversion from touch to make it 30-0.

The travelling Giants fans finally had something to cheer moments before half-time when a break from Ferguson put the Salford defence on the back foot and the ball was quickly shipped out to the right by Danny Brough then Mellor to give McGilvary a walk-in try at the corner.

In keeping with Huddersfield’s luck, Brough saw his conversion hit a post and bounce away.

Salford scored twice in four minutes at the start of the second half with wingers Vatuvei and Jake Bibby going in at either corner. O’Brien converted the former for a 40-4 lead.

In the 50th minute, Huddersfield scored their second try when Oliver Roberts regained the ball having had it stripped from him and scored from 15 metres and Brough kicked the conversion.

With the game stuttering to a conclusion in showery conditions, O’Brien kicked a penalty before further tries from Ben Murdoch-Masila and Josh Jones, the latter goaled by O’Brien.

Huddersfield completed the scoring with a last-minute try from Hinchcliffe which Brough was unable to convert.

Huddersfield Man of the Match: A tough call in the circumstances but second rower Oliver Roberts kept going and was rewarded with a try.

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