Rugby League

Huddersfield pile on the misery for struggling Leeds

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Football News

Huddersfield heaped more misery on Leeds with an emphatic 36-22 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup victory as last year's treble-winners continue to empty their trophy cabinet.

A week after beating the reigning champions 28-20 in Super League, the Giants released their two-year hold on the cup with a masterful performance in an entertaining sixth-round tie at the John Smith's Stadium.

While Huddersfield, who were the last team to beat the Rhinos in rugby league's famous knockout competition in 2013, booked their place in Sunday's quarter-final draw, Leeds - rock bottom of Super League - are destined to finish 2016 without silverware.

Centre Jimmy Keinhorst scored two of the visitors' four tries while s tand-off Danny Brough led the points spree for the Giants with a try, six goals and three drop goals as they maintained their resurgence with a third successive home win.

Yet it began so promisingly for the holders as they took the lead with a first-minute try.

A break through the heart of the Huddersfield defence by exciting half-back Jordan Lilley was continued by Ashton Golding and Keinhorst took Brett Ferres' pass to cross wide out.

Lilley curled the touchline conversion between the posts to make it 6-0 but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Powerful Tonga forward Ukuma Ta'ai proved unstoppable after taking Brough's inside pass 10 metres out to draw his side level and they hit the front six minutes later when Brough and centre Leroy Cudjoe combined to get England winger Jermaine McGillvary over at the corner.

Golding, surprisingly retained at full-back with Zak Hardaker moved onto the wing, proved to be a superb last line of defence but he was powerless to prevent Huddersfield extending their lead three minutes before half-time.

Former Huddersfield second-rower Ferres looked set to score for Leeds only to lose the ball in Sam Rapira's last-ditch tackle and quick thinking by Cudjoe released McGillvary on the free play and full-back Ryan Brierley was in support to finish off the length-of-the-field move for a glorious try.

Brough kicked his third conversion and winger Jake Connor slotted over the ugliest of drop goals on the stroke of half-time to make it 19-6.

To compound Leeds' misery, Ferres was sin-binned by referee Ben Thaler after the try, but despite being a man short, they got themselves back into the contest with the first score of the second half.

It was that man Lilley who set up the position, intercepting Kyle Wood's dangerous pass 15 metres out from his own line, and three plays later Sutcliffe forced his way over from dummy half.

Lilley's second goal cut the deficit to seven points but Cudjoe went through some flimsy defence to put Wood over for a fourth Huddersfield try and Brough kicked a third touchline conversion.

A break by prop Adam Cuthbertson enabled Keinhorst to score his second try on 51 minutes but the home side tightened their grip in the final quarter.

Brough went over for a solo try and kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty and three drop goals, although ex-Huddersfield prop Anthony Mullally went over for a consolation try for the Rhinos.

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Rugby League
Challenge Cup
Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos

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