The quarter finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup threw together Super League’s eighth and tenth placed sides as the Huddersfield Giants hosted the Catalans Dragons for a place in the double header semi-final to be played in Bolton on the 5th August. The Giants had skipper Leroy Cudjoe back in the starting line up after over eight months out, as new coach Steve Woodford got his first taste of the games flagship knock-out tournament. Catalans coach Steve McNamara is well versed in the language of the cup and was hoping that his side could translate their good run of form into cup progress to the detriment of the the Giants. It promised to be a close competition between two sides who appear to have turned the corner after poor starts to the season. It was a nervy opening from both sides and when the Dragons were offered a penalty after an obstruction Josh Drinkwater kicked the two-pointer with five minutes on the clock. On ten a Darnell McIntosh break earned the Giants a penalty twenty five out from the Dragons line but some awful passing saw the ball go to ground. On twenty-two Danny Brough was sin-binned for a crusher tackle on Dragons new boy Kenny Edwards, a warm welcome to Super League. While the sides were struggling to score points they weren’t sparing the needle as the tacklers piled into one another.  Kenny Edwards stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle of the half hour but as he looked to pass to Brayden Wiliame he threw the ball into touch when the braek looked on. It was a war of attrition, with both sides making many forced, and unforced, errors. Drinkwater  added a second penalty on thirty-nine after Huddersfield had held down in the tackle right in front of their own sticks allowing the Dragons to take a 4-0 lead into the interval. The Giants scored the firty try of the game on forty-two when Kruise Leeming started a move which saw Leroy Cudjoe scramble his way over the line to be awarded the four pointer. Danny Brough kicked the conversion for a 6-4 lead. Two minutes later and the Dragons got their first four-pointer after a high kick to the corner was fumbled by McIntosh and picked up in goal by David Mead to ground. Drinkwater added the extras and the Dragons were 10-6 ahead. Interference at the play the ball on forty-eight gifted Drinkwater another two points and teh visitors lead by a converted try. On fifty-six a fifth Drinkwater goal extended the leading margin to eight points, the Dragons easing themselves into the semi-finals. On sixty-six Greg Bird took the ball at first receiver from a fast play the ball to dive over the line from two metres out to seal the win, and when Drinkwater added the extras it was 20-6, a long way back for the Giants. On sixty-nine Danny Brough had a try ruled out for an obstruction to add to the home sides woes. A rush of blood on seventy-one for Benjamin Garcia, a clumsy and ugly cannonball tackle, saw him sent to the sin bin and ruled out for the rest of the game. Huddersfield couldn’t press home the advantage as the Dragons recorded their fourth straight victory and made it into the semi-finals.  It wasn’t the best of games but the Dragons played with more passion, skill, and a little bit of luck. Huddersfield will now concentrate on cementing their position in the top eight, but to do that they will have to play better than they did tonight. Giants: Rankin, McGillvary, Cudjoe (T), Mamo, McIntosh, Turner, Brough (G, SB on 22), Ikahihifo, O’Brien, Clough, Murphy, Mellor, Hinchcliffe.  Subs: Leeming, Smith, English, Roberts. Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Mead (T), Wiliame, Tierney, Bird (T), Drinkwater (6G), Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia (SB on 72), Casty. Subs: Bousquet, Maria, Anderson, Edwards. Referee: Gareth Hewer. Half-Time: 0-4. Full-Time: 6-20. Attendance: .

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