Magic Sidlow stuns Giants in thriller
Adam Sidlow’s two late trys earned Salford City Reds a magnificent 38-34 victory over the Huddersfield Giants in a pulsating game on rugby league’s Magic Weekend. LS Sport editor Joseph Short was in Manchester…
The Etihad Stadium was awash with colour and excitement, yet no one was expecting such a high-quality game between two out-of-form sides. The lead changed hands throughout, but Sidlow’s stretch four minutes from time sealed victory for the Reds.
Two early trys from Joel Moon were cancelled out by Danny Brough and Kevin Brown, and early in the second half it looked like the Giants would run away with it thanks to an Eorl Crabtree brace.
But Sidlow’s first touchdown 15 minutes from time set up a nervy finale, with the prop rounding off a class display in the dying moments to secure victory.
Salford got off to an incredible start, Moon touching down on their first attack after Jody Broughton somehow managed to keep a loose ball from going out in the left corner.
The Giants had learned somewhat from their defeat to Wigan
But the Giants were soon back in it thanks to Brown, who rounded off a penetrating Michael Lawrence surge just left of the sticks. Danny Brough missed the conversion, 6-4 Salford.
The Etihad was soon on its feet again as a wonderful right-to-left Huddersfield move looked sure to end in a try until Luke George dropped at the death. Yet it was clear the Giants had learned somewhat from their defeat to Wigan a week previous, opting to play through the left centre with Brown and Lawrence, rather than punting to the usual right wing
Their opening tactics worked wonders as a counter attack from George and Joe Wardle eventually found Brough, who beat off two Salford men to give the Giants a 15-minute 10-6 lead.
Five minutes before half time Salford touched down again
Play was swapping hands rapidly however, and as quickly as Salford had gone down did they go in front again; Moon once more finishing off after Reds’ Luke Pattern absorbed a tackle to offload on the left. Sean Gleeson went over moments later after holding off Brough to give the Reds a 22-10 advantage, and five minutes before half time Salford touched down again – once more on the left side through Broughton.
Life looked comfortable for the Reds but seconds before the break Lawrence picked up a dummied Scott Grix pass to slip in on the right side. A Brough conversion made for an interesting 22-16 scoreline as the players trenched off to the dressing rooms.
The Giants came out resurgent for the second half but two handling errors on the right wing relieved Salford of early scares. Brough then broke through the centre but offloaded to Brown when Lawrence was in acres of space on his right, before Eorl Crabtree plundered in seconds later to bring the scores level.
Sidlow stretched out to touch the whitewash
And Crabtree was soon in for his second try in as many minutes: David Faiumu spearheading an 80-metre drive to place Huddersfield in a decent position, Big Eorl finishing it off after Grix had wriggled in under the posts. 28-22 Giants.
With 22 minutes remaining Moon came inches away from a hat trick, but dropped the ball as he fell to the ground. Yet he was instrumental in Salford’s next try moments later, slipping at the right moment to avoid a Jermaine McGillvary charge before offloading to Broughton for his second.
Sidlow then stretched out to touch the whitewash and give Salford a 32-28 lead with a quarter of an hour remaining, but Brough came back with six to go and round off Grix’s burst. 34-32 Huddersfield!
Yet it was to be Sidlow’s day as the prop again hit the line two minutes after going behind. Late drama almost saw Huddersfield win it when Jason Chan broke free, but his offload 40 seconds before full time couldn’t find Luke Robinson, Salford running out 38-34 victors in a thrilling game at the Etihad.
After the game, Giants coach Nathan Brown pinpointed his side’s major problem: “Our right edge had a tough day at the office, we’re going to have to work hard and fix that.
“I don’t think we’ve put a real good game of football together for three or four weeks now.”