Super League: Huddersfield 16-18 Catalan Dragons

Catalans celebrate victory against Huddersfield.
Catalans beat Huddersfield en route to the 2009 semis where they lost to league winners Leeds
Super League Preliminary semi-final
Huddersfield (10) 16
Tries: Broughton, Murphy, Robinson
Goals: Brough 2
Catalans (10) 18
Tries: Millard, Oldfield, Pomeroy
Goals: Bosc 3

Catalan Dragons will play St Helens in their first Super League play-off semi-final since 2009 after a narrow 18-16 victory away to Huddersfield Giants.

Thomas Bosc's goal from Ben Pomeroy's try, his third of the match, proved crucial, with three tries apiece.

The two sides were level 10-10 at half-time, Jodie Broughton and Aaron Murphy scores cancelled out by Catalans' Daryl Millard and Michael Oldfield.

Luke Robinson's score put Giants ahead before Pomeroy's effort sealed the win.

Saints, who selected Catalans on the basis of the 'ClubCall', handed Warrington - who beat Castleford - a visit to holders Wigan.

The game was plunged into doubt when the power cut occurred 75 minutes before kick-off but with two floodlights working the Rugby Football League in conjunction with the Giants' safety officer allowed the game to go ahead.

Laurent Frayssinous' side have had a tough route to the knock-out semis with away ties to Leeds, which they came through with similar late drama, and now Huddersfield, who lost both of their play-off fixtures at this phase of the season.

Super League play-off elimination semi-finals
Thursday, 2 October: St Helens (1st) v Catalans (7th)Friday, 3 October: Wigan (2nd) v Warrington (5th)

Huddersfield came into the knock-out stage on the back of seven games unbeaten, but Catalans own travel issues - just four regular season wins away from the Stade Gilbert Brutus - have been cast aside.

They even came from behind, as Giants went ahead when Broughton was put in on the left, with an equalising try of their own from Millard that owed much to Vincent Duport's offload.

Three scores failed to impress the video referee throughout the first half with both sides left to rue decisions, but Oldfield's spectacular finish restored the visitors' lead as full lighting was finally restored by a hastily summoned electrician.

Wardle bust the line to go through and feed Aaron Murphy as the pendulum swung back Huddersfield's way, but neither side were able to add to their tallies before the hooter.

Bosc kicked for two from a penalty to give Catalans a narrow advantage soon after the break, emphasising the tight nature of the encounter, and another video referee decision denied Giants the chance to press ahead when Broughton went the length of the field - Joe Wardle adjudged to have obstructed Elliott Whitehead as he chased a high ball.

Huddersfield dejected after their play-off exit
Huddersfield finished third but not even two chances at the play-offs helped them in the knock-out phases

Scrutiny of Louis Anderson's score led to that effort being wiped off the board to frustrate Catalans, and when Danny Brough's kick was finished off by half-back Robinson it looked as though the home side were on course to progress.

However the Dragons had the last word, Pomeroy finishing off some snappy interplay from a chip kick and France half-back Bosc composed himself to slot the pivotal extras and book a semis berth.

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson:

"It hurts more than last week because the year is over. We saw an improvement in some areas and the scoreline wasn't as bad as last week.

"But it was a reflection of our year. We were good in patches. All year we have never strung 80 minutes together and it was the same tonight. We never turned the screw.

"I am massively disappointed about the season. We started round one with big expectation but consistency throughout the year cost us. It wasn't just week by week but within games.

"We have had inconsistencies within performance and individual performances throughout games. It ends up hurting you."

Catalans head coach Laurent Frayssinous:

"We believe in each other and the boys showed character and dug in very hard. I'm very proud of them. Their attitude was great.

"We want to keep on believing in ourselves and challenge the team that finished first.

"Credit to the boys they dug in very hard. We have got a great attitude and don't want to let our team-mates down. We want to be proud of wearing that jersey.

"It has been tough physically because we knew we would be tired but I am delighted with the win."

Friday's teams

Huddersfield: Murphy, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Broughton, Brough, Robinson, Kaufusi, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Ta'ai, Bailey.

Replacements: Crabtree, Patrick, Faiumu, Mullally.

Catalan Dragons: Escare, Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard, Bosc, Williams, Elima, Henderson, Anderson, Taia, Whitehead, Mounis.

Replacements: Lima, Pelissier, Bousquet, Garcia.

Referee: James Child (RFL)

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