Jermaine McGillvary crossed twice for the Giants, with Toby King, Owen Trout, Chris McQueen all scoring as well; There was a special moment for Salford’s Geordie prop Sam Luckley, who grabbed a try in front of the Gallowgate End

Last Updated: 10/07/22 3:31pm

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils.

Two tries either side of half-time from Jermaine McGillvary helped Huddersfield Giants keep pace with the Betfred Super League frontrunners as they overcame Salford Red Devils 30-18 in the opening game of Day 2 at Magic Weekend.

The Giants were firmly in control of the match at half-time with a 24-6 lead thanks to tries from Toby King, Owen Trout, Chris McQueen and former England international McGillvary, with Olly Russell converting all four of those scores as well.

Salford rallied after the restart as tries from Brodie Croft and Newcastle native Sam Luckley inside the first 10 minutes of the second half got them firmly back into the contest, but McGillvary’s second just after the midway point of the half put the game beyond reach.

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Story of the game

After a difficult first season in charge at the Giants, Ian Watson has overseen a revival in the team’s fortunes in 2022 and they headed to Magic Weekend aiming to further cement their place in Super League’s top four.

Just before kick-off in Newcastle, the news was announced Watson had signed a contract extension to remain at Huddersfield until at least the end of the 2026 season and his day kept getting better as his side took the lead after four minutes at St James’ Park.

A high, hanging kick from Russell on the last tackle was caught by King and the Huddersfield-born centre raced clear to score his first try since joining the Giants on loan from Warrington Wolves last month.

The Betfred Challenge Cup runners-up were in again seven minutes later as they made the most of a set restart, with hooker Danny Levi sending fellow forward Trout crashing through for a try with a pass from dummy-half.

The Giants shift the ball to right from the scrum and Jermaine McGillvary finds himself in acres of space to cruise over.

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The Giants shift the ball to right from the scrum and Jermaine McGillvary finds himself in acres of space to cruise over.

The Giants shift the ball to right from the scrum and Jermaine McGillvary finds himself in acres of space to cruise over.

Theo Fages made his long-awaited return for Huddersfield and took his place in the halves alongside Olly Russell, while there was a recall for Sam Hewitt in the second row.

Salford named an unchanged starting XIII, but skipper Elijah Taylor made his return to the matchday squad on the interchange bench.

At the other end, Innes Senior produced a superb try-saving tackle to deny Ken Sio and then Huddersfield surged further ahead as McQueen capitalised on Rhys Williams failing to gather the ball from a kick to finish in the right corner on 26 minutes.

Deon Cross finally got the Red Devils up and running by showing his strength to force his way over six minutes before the break, with Marc Sneyd converting, but the Giants led by 18 points at the break as McGillvary cruised over in acres of space wide on the right following an attack from a scrum.

It looked like it would need something special to get Salford back into this contest and that came in the form of former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos half Croft, who scampered through the defence with a trademark burst to capitalise on a strong opening to the second half for the Red Devils.

Then it was their Geordie forward Luckley who provided one of the memorable moments of the weekend, with the Newcastle United fan powering over in front of the Gallowgate End – where the majority of Salford’s fans were sitting – and celebrating like his hero Alan Shearer in the process.

Sam Luckley celebrated his try at St James' Park with a nod to Newcastle great Alan Shearer!

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Sam Luckley celebrated his try at St James’ Park with a nod to Newcastle great Alan Shearer!

Sam Luckley celebrated his try at St James’ Park with a nod to Newcastle great Alan Shearer!

Huddersfield Giants: Tries – Jermaine McGillvary (2), Toby King, Owen Trout, Chris McQueen; Goals – Olly Russell (5).

Salford Red Devils: Tries – Deon Cross, Brodie Croft, Sam Luckley; Goals – Marc Sneyd (3).

Those tries and Sneyd’s two conversions cut the gap to six points, but the comeback was snuffed out by McGillvary’s second in the 63rd minute, with the winger finishing wide on the right again as Huddersfield shifted the ball quickly through the hands from Ashton Golding at dummy-half.

McQueen had a possible second try of his own ruled out by the video referee seven minutes from time and so did Theo Fages late on, although it mattered little as the Giants moved up to third in the Super League table – at least until the conclusion of the day’s second game between Catalans Dragons and Warrington.

What they said

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson

Ian Watson: The way Salford played suited us

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Ian Watson: The way Salford played suited us

Ian Watson: The way Salford played suited us

“We knew we were going to get a tough test in Salford, but I was really confident we’d be able to get the result and win if we stuck to our process and did the right things.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley

Paul Rowley: We showed our character at the end

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Paul Rowley: We showed our character at the end

Paul Rowley: We showed our character at the end

“We were slow off the bus and I thought we started slowly. I thought they were well worth it for the win and the scoreline, but what I will say is we showed our character at the end.”

What’s next?

Huddersfield travel to St Helens in a clash of the contenders live on Sky Sports next Friday (8pm), while Salford host Catalans Dragons on the Sunday (3pm).