Giants end 35 years of hurt against depleted Bulls

Last updated at 22:55 18 May 2007


Huddersfield ended their 35-year wait for a league win over Bradford and did it in style, running the depleted Bulls ragged to clinch a seventh successive victory that lifted them to fourth place in the engage Super League.

The Bulls were the only team the Giants had not defeated in Super League but

that record was effectively over by half-time after a perfect first 40 minutes

by Jon Sharp's in-form team.

Brimming with confidence after eight successive league and cup wins,

Huddersfield established a commanding 24-0 lead at the break, largely through

the boot of Brad Drew, whose skilful kicking set up tries for Stephen Wild and

John Skandalis in the first quarter.

Bradford went into the game on the back of 27 successive League wins over

Huddersfield going back to 1972, but with a side depleted by the loss of seven

regulars through injury and suspension.

The Giants knew they would never have a better chance of ending their dismal

run and they looked determined from the outset to seize their opportunity.

The Bulls thought they had scored after just 40 seconds when prop Andy Lynch

went over from Ian Henderson's pass, but video referee Ben Thaler disallowed the

try for a double movement.

Lesley Vainikolo - hoping to improve his remarkable scoring rate of 143 tries

in 146 appearances before leaving for rugby union - was the obvious danger to

the Giants defence, but he was directly responsible for them opening the scoring

on 10 minutes.

He was first to Drew's grubber kick but spilled the ball and Wild followed up

to touch down.

Then, 10 minutes later, the clever Drew was at it again, this time kicking

ahead for Skandalis to take advantage of a kind bounce to record his first-ever

Super League try.

Thorman kicked both conversions and added a penalty on 28 minutes to make it

14-0 as Bradford struggled in the blustery conditions to get out of their own

half.

The Bulls, who gave a debut to 21-year-old scrum-half Richie Hawkyard and had

three players with just one Super League start between them on the bench, made

life difficult for themselves with a series of handling errors.

And it was no surprise when Huddersfield extended their lead six minutes before

half-time with the best move of the match.

Towering forward Eorl Crabtree got the ball rolling with a superb offload and

Thorman and Robbie Paul combined to get second rower Stuart Jones romping over.

Thorman kicked his fourth goal and then added a fourth try, snapping up a loose

ball and handing off centre Ben Harris on a 60-metre sprint to the line.

Bradford had the wind at their backs as they attempted to launch a fightback

and they opened their account just five minutes after the restart.

Second rower David Solomona, whose hands let him down in the first half, found

his touch to send Vainikolo over for his 14th try of the season and the 144th of

his Bradford career, which Iestyn Harris converted.

The Gloucester-bound winger was hurt in the tackle shortly afterwards, however,

and limped off to be replaced by Dave Halley.

Huddersfield substitute Paul Jackson thought he had scored his first of the

season when taking Paul's pass to go through a gap, but he had the misfortune to

drop the ball over the line.

Then it was Solomona's turn to have a try disallowed, the video referee ruling

he failed to ground the ball over the line.

Huddersfield finally secured the win when Brown opened the visitors' defence

with a slick dummy and slid through for their fifth try, with Thorman kicking

his fifth goal.

Wild then illustrated the Giants' desire and enthusiasm by racing back to deny

Halley what looked like a certain try, but the home side were powerless to

prevent Ben Harris grabbing a late consolation touchdown.

But Huddersfield had the final say when Ryan Hudson broke through and kicked

ahead for Thorman to claim his second try of the match.

The skipper added the conversion to finish with a 20-point haul.

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