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London 12 Huddersfield 26

Huddersfield Giants edged closer to securing their first ever League Leaders' Shield with a 26-12 victory over London Broncos.
London 12 Huddersfield 26

Huddersfield Giants edged closer to securing their first ever League Leaders' Shield with a 26-12 victory over London Broncos.

Having seen rivals Warrington Wolves lose 16-6 at home to Widnes Vikings on Thursday, the Giants knew victory at bottom side London would open up a three-point lead at the top of the table.

Scores from Aaron Murphy, Ukuma Ta'ai and Eorl Crabtree racked up an 18-0 lead midway through the second half, scrum-half Danny Brough adding six points with the boot.

But the hosts battled back in their final home game of the season with efforts from James Woodburn-Hall and Alex Hurst making it a nervy finish for Huddersfield.

Brough was subsequently helped from the field clutching his shoulder, an ominous sign with the play-offs looming, before a late penalty from Scott Grix and a fourth try from Dale Ferguson eased the jitters for the Giants.

The visitors opened the scoring on six minutes - Murphy the first to reach Brough's kick down the left channel to touch down in the corner.

London managed to exert their own pressure on the quarter-hour mark but, although the hosts won three penalties in quick succession five metres out, the Giants defence held firm.

Crabtree was proving to be a driving force and the prop almost got himself in on 23 minutes but failed to gather his own chipped pass towards the posts.

The game was full of errors and flared up on 35 minutes as Matt Cook and Ta'ai squared up to each other following a tackle, with punches thrown and players from both sides coming together.

Cook came off worse having been hit by a punch although both players were sin binned.

The visitors regrouped and thought they had scored a second try when Brett Ferres charged over but referee George Stokes ruled the forward had pushed illegally with his shoulder.

The Giants did extend their lead on 47 minutes as Ta'ai - just back on the pitch following his sin binning - received the ball in front of the posts before stretching over the line.

Huddersfield went 18-0 up on 54 minutes as Ta'ai rode a tackle before offloading to Crabtree to score to the right of the posts.

But the home side reduced the deficit seven minutes later as Woodburn-Hall picked up the ball five metres out to go over, with Soward converting.

Huddersfield were then dealt a blow as captain Brough was forced off with an apparent shoulder injury and the home side capitalised on 73 minutes as Hurst pounced in the left corner.

Grix, though, added a penalty and Ferguson outpaced Kieran Dixon late on to secure Huddersfield's seventh victory in a row - another against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats next time out would seal top spot.

London Broncos 12
Tries: James Woodburn-Hall, Alex Hurst
Goals: Jamie Soward 2

Huddersfield Giants 26
Tries: Aaron Murphy, Ukuma Ta'ai, Eorl Crabtree, Dale Ferguson,
Goals: Danny Brough 3, Scott Grix 2

Date: Saturday 17th August 2013
Venue: Twickenham Stoop Stadium
Attendance: 2,013
Official: G Stokes
Half Time: Huddersfield 6-0

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