DANNY BROUGH passed yet another great in the all-time points-scoring list as he helped Huddersfield Giants sweep past woeful Wakefield Trinity.
The Scotland captain usurped Leeds legend Lewis Jones in ninth place earlier this season and last night he eclipsed eight-placed Kel Coslett, the St Helens favourite from the 1960s, with a personal tally of 16 points taking him to 3,551.
More importantly, however, the veteran stand-off helped Huddersfield claim two small but valuable points in their Super 8s opener; they replace Wigan in seventh and are now four points adrift of St Helens in fourth, only three adrift of Salford and Wakefield in fifth and sixth respectively. Huddersfield, with Jordan Rankin excelling at full-back and hooker Kruise Leeming continuing to impress, can certainly dare to dream about potentially fighting for one of those semi-final spots.
Friday’s trip to Wigan will be crucial if they are to continue progressing. That said, they were given a significant helping hand here; wretched Wakefield were undoubtedly the architects of their own downfall.
Chris Chester’s side would have gone back into the top-four with a win but a woeful first half in this West Yorkshire derby ruined any hope of that.
Indeed, they were fortunate to only go in 18-6 behind as error followed error in a mistake-ridden 40 minutes from which they could never properly recover.
There was some glaring ones, too, as Trinity simply failed to get going against eighth-placed opponents. Both wingers endured miserable starts; Ben Jones-Bishop spilled after being pushed behind his own line to serve up a seventh minute gift for Brough and then Mason Caton-Brown coughed up, too, to concede position for another soon after.
This time, the ball was shifted left where decent hands from the excellent Jordan Rankin furnish Darnell McIntosh, Brough converting for a 10-0 lead inside the opening 11 minutes.
Both Jones-Bishop and Caton-Brown went on to drop trademark Brough spiral kicks while the former put his side under further pressure with a needless pass in his own 20 that went straight into touch.
When James Hasson, the replacement prop recently signed from Salford Red Devils, lost possession with his first carry, Ryan Hinchcliffe scurried in from 30m for Brough to improve once more.
After Jones-Bishop’s ill-conceived pass, Trinity conceded two penalties near their own line, Brough slotting another two points after David Fifita pulled back Lee Gaskell as the Giants stand-off chased his own grubber. In amid all this chaos, the visitors did have a couple of chances of their own but both captain Danny Kirmond and a marauding Tinirau Arona being dragged down just short on the last tackle.
They got some luck, though, as the half drew towards a close; Jones-Bishop’s dropped kick went backwards to Scott Grix and, soon after, the former Leeds winger was challenging at the other end for an attacking kick. He palmed it down and colleague Sam Williams scruffily hacked on. Rankin should have negated the danger but he erred and Williams collected for Liam Finn to leave his side just 12 behind at the interval. Initially, Wakefield came out for the second period with a much improved attitude and applied plenty of pressure.
Replacement prop Keegan Hirst, in particular, made good yards while Arona and Kyle Wood were typically busy but they lacked a cutting edge. However, Brough, as is so often the case, calmed things down with a penalty in the 56th minute that took him past Coslett’s total and it duly restored order.
He then showed far more urgency to get to a loose ball soon after, ripping possession from a dozing Wakefield player to set up position for Rankin to feed Leroy Cudjoe. England winger Jermaine McGillvary added his 17th try of the season soon after as his side turned the screw.
There was more to come as an outrageous reverse pass from Rankin saw Alex Mellor supply ex-Trinity prop Daniel Smith in the final minute, Brough slotting his sixth goal of the night.
Trinity boss Chris Chester fumed: “I can cop getting beat by a better side. But I can’t copy getting beaten on desire and effort.
“I wouldn’t expect my Under 16s or 19s teams to make the kind of errors of some of those blokes did there.”
Huddersfield Giants: Rankin; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, McIntosh; Gaskell, Brough; Rapira, Leeming, Wakeman, Ta’ai, Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe. Substitutes: O’Brien, Mellor, Clough, Smith.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Caton-Brown; Williams, Finn; England, Wood, Fifita, Kirmond, Ashurst, Hadley. Substitutes: Arona, Annakin, Hirst, Hasson.
Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds).