BATTLING Huddersfield Giants finished their most memorable Super League season by producing a display that mirrored their entire campaign.

When the review of this first year back in the top flight is undertaken, it will be remembered as Huddersfield's most successful in their five Super League seasons.

For the very first time the Giants didn't finish at the bottom of the pile and won a club record 11 Super League games, with magical wins against Leeds, Wigan and St Helens along the way.

Obviously, yesterday's capital clash will not go down as the most memorable in the Giants' Super League history, but in so many ways this match and Huddersfield's campaign were so similar.

Just look at the facts.

Against London, the Giants started shakily and by the half-hour mark were 14-2 down.

Then, after finding their feet, coach Tony Smith side's produced some magical moments by running in top-notch tries through Paul White and Julian Bailey to put them back in the glory hunt.

But just when the Giants looked ready to embark on their victory charge, back came their opponents to leave their visitors with nothing.

Sounds familar?

In fact, it was a tale that was remarkably similar to the way the McAlpine club's season had unfolded.

At the start of the campaign, the signs looked exceptionally worrying as they made their infamous Challenge Cup exit to Hunslet and suffered early Super League defeats.

But then came the transformation, with the Giants getting stronger and stronger as the season unfolded.

At one stage it looked as if a play-off place could be secured and optimism was high - until a late dip cost the Giants dear.

And so it proved at Griffin Park.

Against a Broncos side gunning for a top-five finish, Huddersfield were soon on the back foot.

Retiring captain Steve McNamara may have opened his side's account with a 10th-minute penalty, but it wasn't long before London had taken control and the signs were looking ominous.

Following a 15th-minute Giants' drop-out the Broncos struck fior the first time as the position was created on the short side for full-back paul Sykes to come into the line and crash over.

Chris Thorman added the conversion and the home side had a lead they were never to lose.

A magnificent Paul Reilly cover tackle denied flying winger Joel Caine moments later, but in the 24th minute London's lead was extended by two points courtesy of Thorman's boot.

And after 30 minutes the Giants were cut apart from a second time.

Moran's long cut-out pass sent Steve Hall hurtling down the left and, after drawing full-back Reilly, the winger returned the compliment to send Moran over for a London club record 24th try of the season.

Thorman again goaled and the Giants were not looking in the best of health.

Yet when it comes to showing spirit and commitment, Huddersfield have led the way for large chunks of this Super League campaign - and so it proved at Griffin Park.

With only pride at stake, the Giants rolled up their sleeves and changed the entire complexion of the game.

Substitute scrum half Paul White set the ball rollign with an absolute crasker two minutes before the break.

Collecting the ball on his own 20m line, the rising star sliced through the first line of defdence and then backed his pace by rounding full-back Paul Sykes and beating Caine to dive over in the corner for a wondrous solo effort.

McNamara was unable to add the touchline conversion, but the Giants went into the break with renewed vigour.

That momentum continued after the break, with Julian Bailey and Hefin O'Hare both going desperately close before the visitors grabbed their second try.

Good work by Marcus St Hilaire helped release Paul March, who made valuable ground before bfeeding the supporting Bailey to cross by the posts.

McNamara converted, it was 14-12 and the Giants looked to be in the driving seat.

Unfortunately, however, ex Giants favourite Thorman had other ideas.

His 58th-minute penalty settled the Broncos nerves before he landed the killer blow three minutes later, scoring a try which will have left departing Giants head coach fuming.

Thorman fed a London scrum on halfway, collected from its base and exploded through a narrow gap in the Giants defensive line and beat the cover to score by the posts.

It was a good try in anyobody's book, but with Thorman having scored carbon copies of the effort on a number of occasions with the Giants last season, Huddersfield really should have been more alive to the threat.

But the fact they failed to read the situation ultimately cost them the game.

Thorman's conversion gave London a 10-point cushion, and there was no way back.


Giants: Reilly, St Hilaire, Bailey, Bloem, O'Hare, McNamara, March, Slicker, Turner, Gannon, Roarty, Morrison, O'Doherty; Whittaker, Cooper, Crabtree, White

Broncos: Sykes, Caine, Roy, Hall, King, Thorman, Moran, Stephenson, Budworth, Retchless, Toshack, Peden, Dymock; Trindall, Bawden

KEY MAN: Ben Roarty

ANOTHER non-stop battling back-row performance from the Australian marked him out as one of the game's top performers. Big things will be expected of Roarty when the Giants resume battle in Super League IX.


FORMER Giants scrum half Chris Thorman's 61st-minute try proved the decisive score for the Broncos, ending Huddersfield's encouraging opening to the second half. But the way Thorman scored the try was the most frustrating as it was a carbon copy of many he scored for the Giants last season, collecting from the base of the scrum and slicing through the defence to score.


London. Tries: Sykes (16mins), Moran (30mins), Thorman (61mins). Goals: Thorman 5 from 6.

Huddersfield. Tries: White (38mins), Bailey (46mins). Goals: McNamara 2 from 3.

Half-time: 14-6.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).

Attendance: 3,286.

Scrums won: London 10, Giants 10.

Penalties conceded: London 10, Giants 8.

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