Leigh hang on for nervy win at Huddersfield

Betfred Super League

Huddersfield (0) 10

Tries: Hewitt, Naiqama Goals: Russell

Leigh (14) 16

Tries: Charnley, Ipape Goals: Moylan 4

Leigh Leopards made it back-to-back Super League wins as they hung on at Huddersfield Giants to edge a narrow victory.

The visitors looked to be coasting at half-time when they led with converted tries from veteran winger Josh Charnley and Edwin Ipape, either side of a Matt Moylan penalty.

Giants had Oliver Russell in the sin-bin when Leigh went over for their second try. But the Leopards then ended the first half with only 11 men after Ed Chamberlain and Frankie Halton were shown yellow cards - either side of Russell returning to the field.

It brought Giants' first try from Sam Hewitt early in the second half before another Moylan penalty - his fourth successful kick - stretched Leigh 12 points clear.

But the hosts got no closer until Kevin Naiqama crossed late on, and Russell kicked the goal to halve the deficit from 12 to six.

Leigh then lost Warrington Wolves loan man Brad Dwyer to a third yellow card to set up a nervous last three minutes - but the hosts could find no more ways through.

Leigh's fourth league win of 2024 came at the expense of a Huddersfield side still smarting from last weekend's 46-10 Challenge Cup semi-final hammering by Warrington and without star man Jake Connor, who was missing with a knee problem.

The Leopards went in front on 11 minutes when they worked the ball out to the left corner where Charnley was on hand to cross, to which Moylan added a superb conversion.

Leigh extended their lead to 8-0 with a Moylan penalty before Russell was invited to take 10 minutes for a high tackle and Leigh quickly capitalised when, from dummy half, Ipape's superb burst took him past Leroy Cudjoe and Esan Marsters and over.

Chamberlain evened up the numbers by being binned for persistent foul play and Halton followed for a late tackle on Adam Clune.

Hewitt went over for Huddersfield after the break from Clune's short pass. But Naiqama's try came too late, other than that late scare for Leigh after Dwyer had also been binned for a trip.

Huddersfield boss Ian Watson:

"There was a lot of effort and desire from both sides and the fact there was only two tries apiece showed that.

"They probably had a player in Matt Moylan who was very smart in what he was doing on the back of Lachlan Lam.

"We gave too many penalties away in the first half and maybe we could have been a bit smarter with some opportunities.

"There are little moments we need to learn from, including discipline, but, if we have that effort, we'll be all right. We just need to be a bit more clinical and disciplined."

Leigh coach Adrian Lam:

"I've aged a few years. But I'm very proud of the boys because there was a point in the first half when we went down to 11. And it's a difficult enough game to play with 13 players, let alone 12 or 11.

"There were some really tough calls, especially the sin-binning for Chamberlain. I was a bit frustrated with a lot of the decisions and the stoppages but I don't want to take away from the what the boys did.

"The way we hung in together as a group, we weren't pretty at times, but you saw our desperation for each other.

"Matt Moylan is finding his rhythm in that position at stand-off and long may it continue."

Huddersfield: Lolohea, Halsall, Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis, Russell, Clune, Hill, Deakin, Yates, Murchie, Hewitt, Cudjoe.

Interchanges: Golding, Ikahihifo, Rushton, Wilson.

Sin-bin: Russell (28).

Leigh: Hardaker, Hanley, Chamberlain, Leutele, Charnley, Moylan, Lam, Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O'Donnell, Halton, Trout.

Interchanges: Norman, Hughes, McIntosh, Dwyer.

Sin-bin: Chamberlain (34), Halton (39), Dwyer (77).

Referee: James Vella.