Super League: Huddersfield Giants 12-28 Leeds Rhinos
|Betfred Super League|
|Huddersfield (12) 12|
|Tries: Ta'ai, McGillvary Goals: Brough 2|
|Leeds (18) 28|
|Tries: Briscoe, Hall, Ablett, Parcell, Baldwinson Goals: Golding 2, Sutcliffe 2|
Leeds Rhinos recorded their third straight Super League win, at the expense of West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Giants.
It was a tight first half at 18-12 despite Leeds outscoring Giants four tries to two, as Ashton Golding added just one goal to those scores.
Danny Brough and Carl Ablett were sin-binned for a scuffle after the break.
Jordan Baldwinson's late try was a rare bright spot in a scruffy second 40 that saw Giants kept scoreless.
Brian McDermott's Leeds were mauled 66-10 by Castleford four games ago but the response ever since has been excellent, and they exuded confidence in attack and defence to end the Giants' three-game derby winning streak.
For Rick Stone there will be frustration the Giants could not turn some of their possession into points in a dogged second period, and they have lost three of the past four games.
The visitors made a bright start when wingers Tom Briscoe and Ryan Hall notched a try apiece to go 10-0 ahead but Ukuma Ta'ai and Jermaine McGillvary tries put the Giants in front.
It was the only time the hosts would lead as Leeds responded when Ablett and Matt Parcell's scores restored the lead.
The sin-binning summed up the second period, which was a combination of Leeds' defence, Giants' inability to execute and far too many errors.
Baldwinson's late score on the back of Golding and Liam Sutcliffe penalty goals gave Leeds' travelling support extra cheer and the score-line a slightly flattering look.
Huddersfield Giants head coach Rick Stone: "It's a disappointment, we were in the contest for the majority of the game. We started a little bit slow but we got on even terms.
"The Danny Brough sin-bin didn't help our cause. I thought there were some tries there if we could hang on to the ball but we made 10 second-half errors which makes it tough to win matches. We didn't give ourselves a chance.
"In the last 20 minutes we defended our line really strongly and Leeds gave us some respect by kicking a couple of penalty goals. They managed the game better than us at the crucial times."
Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott: "We'll savour that. It's a decent position to be in but I don't think we're rolling our shoulders at being there after the last 18 months. We've a big one at our place next Friday against Wigan.
"It was an ugly game for both teams. I don't think anybody enjoyed it. I won't be too down about it, though. We got penalised a lot in the first half and that takes so much juice out of you. I don't think we got any rhythm or momentum back and the game became a scrappy, stop-start affair.
"They probably let us off the hook with their finishing but I suppose we were just good enough defensively to come away with the win. We weren't as good with the ball as last week but it's good that we can defend our way to a win."
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Mellor, Murphy; Brough, Gaskell; Rapira, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Ferguson, Ta'ai, Clough
Replacements: Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Roberts, Smith
Leeds Rhinos: Golding; T. Briscoe, Watkins, Keinhorst, Hall; McGuire, Moon; Baldwinson, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Ferres, Jones-Buchanan
Replacements: Burrow, Sutcliffe, Garbutt, Mullally