Super League: Huddersfield 24-24 Leeds

Leeds celebrate
Leeds celebrate Kallum Watkins' first-half try
First Utility Super League
Huddersfield (8) 24
Tries: Wardle 2, Lawrence, McGillvary Goals: Brough 4
Leeds Rhinos (22) 24
Tries: Delaney, Ablett, Moon, Watkins Goals: Sutcliffe 4

Liam Sutcliffe's late penalty secured a point for Leeds who had led Huddersfield by 14 points at half-time.

Joe Wardle's try put the hosts ahead, but tries from Brett Delaney, Carl Ablett, Joel Moon and Kallum Watkins gave Leeds a 22-8 lead at the break.

But tries in quick succession from Michael Lawrence, Jermaine McGillvary and Wardle put the Giants ahead.

Sutcliffe's late penalty levelled the scores but he missed a drop-goal attempt to secure a dramatic victory.

It meant that three of the last nine contests between the two Yorkshire rivals have ended in draws, with the corresponding game last season ending 12-12.

Rob Burrow
Leeds Rhinos' Rob Burrow slipped when he had a chance to score in the dying moments

Leeds sprung a surprise before the game, dropping skipper Kevin Sinfield for the first time in 15 years.

And the Rhinos were soon behind when Danny Brough broke clear and set up Wardle to sprint away to score just to the left of the upright.

The hosts then had a try disallowed before Delaney juggled a pass from Sutcliffe but grounded the ball and Sutcliffe's subsequent kick went in off the post to draw the Super League leaders level.

Ablett put the visitors ahead with his third try of the season after a clever catch under intense pressure on the line and Sutcliffe kicked them into a 12-6 lead.

Moon's terrific individual score was converted by Sutcliffe, who then hooked an attempt wide after Watkins ran in to finish off a well-worked move.

Brough's 40-metre penalty reduced the Rhinos' advantage to 14 points at the break and it proved significant as the hosts blitzed Leeds with three tries in seven second-half minutes.

Scott Grix's pass saw Lawrence power his way over before McGillvary pounced on Brough's towering kick and Wardle pushed through the middle.

Brough converted two of the three tries, to give his side a two-point lead.

Sutcliffe's penalty levelled the game but he then put a drop-goal attempt wide in a breathtaking finish, while Rob Burrow slipped on the turf as he missed a chance to score in the final minute.

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson:

"I thought we should have won. We should have had a penalty under the sticks at the end.

"I was disappointed with the first half. I thought that was disgraceful from us. It's the first time this year we've challenged their effort, I thought it was pretty steady.

"Some of them took what was said at half-time and moved it forward, which is pleasing.

"Our completion was at about 50 in the first half but it was close to 90 in the second half."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott:

"What a dramatic finish that was, it was a really good game.

"Huddersfield were very good in the second half and stifled us of possession. When we got the ball we were too gassed to do anything with it almost.

"I'm immensely proud of what we did in that second half because Huddersfield should probably have scored more tries."

Huddersfield: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, Ellis, Mullally, Wood, Huby, Wardle, Hughes, Ta'ai.

Replacements: Crabtree, Lawrence, Kopczak, Leeming.

Leeds: Hardaker, Watkins, Keinhorst, Moon, Handley, McGuire, Sutcliffe, Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Delaney, Jones-Buchanan.

Replacements: Burrow, Singleton, Achurch, Mulhern.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL).