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Friday 7th March 2014, 20:00 - Round:4
|Jodie Broughton, Joe Wardle,||T||Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins,|
Danny Brough 2,
Kevin Sinfield 2,
Attendance: 8,759 Official: J Child Venue: The John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
Leeds Rhinos demonstrated exceptional defence to salvage a point from a First Utility Super League thriller as Huddersfield Giants were held to a second consecutive home draw.
The two captains, Kevin Sinfield (Leeds) and Danny Brough (Huddersfield) both failed with late drop-goal attempts as the game ended with a dramatic 12-12 tie at the John Smith's Stadium.
Huddersfield, who had beaten the Rhinos in their past five meetings, will feel the most aggrieved after dominating the game for long periods and having four tries disallowed by video referee Richard Silverwood.
An early knock-on by Huddersfield full-back Scott Grix deep inside his own half put his side in trouble and Leeds took advantage when second rower Stevie Ward took Sinfield's pass to stretch out for the game's first try after only six minutes.
Sinfield's goal made it 6-0 but the Giants went on to dominate the rest of the first half, with Eorl Crabtree tearing huge holes in the Rhinos defence and Brough tormenting them with his array of handling and kicking skills.
Leeds' tackling held firm, although their defence lived a charmed life at times, with Huddersfield having three tries disallowed.
Grix finished off a break by second rower Jason Chan but was denied by an obstruction in the build-up and centre Joe Wardle had two efforts disallowed, one for a forward pass and the other for a foot over the dead-ball line as he pounced on an error from his England team-mate Kallum Watkins.
The pressure eventually paid off nine minutes before the break when England second rower Brett Ferres worked the ball free from a two-man tackle and Grix combined with Wardle to get Jodie Broughton over at the corner.
Brough failed with the difficult conversion attempt and was also off target with a 40-metre penalty on the stroke of half-time, when the visitors led 6-4.
It was a similar story in the second half as Leeds found themselves penned inside their own half and Huddersfield had another try disallowed when winger Jermaine McGillvary was denied by a knock-on from his centre Leroy Cudjoe.
It was nothing more than they deserved when the Giants finally drew level on 53 minutes with a penalty from Brough, awarded for a high tackle on scrum-half Luke Robinson by England forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan, making his first appearance of the season.
On a rare foray into the Huddersfield 20-metre area, Leeds managed to get the ball out to England winger Tom Briscoe but he was easily bundled into touch.
The visitors began to see more of the ball, though, and they edged back in front on 64 minutes with a penalty from Sinfield awarded for interference in the ruck by Giants prop Antonio Kaufusi.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the impressive Robinson produced another of his trademark darting runs to open up the Leeds defence and Wardle took Chris Bailey's cut-pass to cross at the corner.
Brough landed the touchline conversion to give his side the lead for the first time but the Rhinos levelled four minutes later when Watkins took a superb pass from full-back Zak Hardaker to touch down in the corner.
Sinfield was unable to add the goal and he was also short with a long-range drop-goal attempt.
Leeds half-back Danny McGuire was then off target with a similar attempt and Sinfield saw his second effort rebound off an upright before Brough failed with two late attempted one-pointers of his own to leave the scores tied.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals