Rugby League - Giants allay Brough concerns

Huddersfield assistant coach Kieron Purtill eased concerns over Danny Brough's fitness after the half-back masterminded a 36-22 victory over Widnes.

PA Sport
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Danny Brough

Brough dived over for one of five Huddersfield first-half tries in a personal haul of 14 points before sitting out the second period with the game virtually won. Purtill confirmed that Brough's absence after the break was merely cautionary, as they protected the 30-year-old on a night they ensured they would finish the weekend second in the table.

"Broughy is fine. He is a key player for us and we have to look after them," Purtill said. "We did the job in the first half and took the decision to bring him off. You can get a few tight calves on this pitch so we just brought him off. We always knew Widnes were always going to come back at us in the second half."

Purtill was otherwise pleased with his side's performance, with the win assured when Brett Ferres' second score on 70 minutes was converted to put them out of sight at 36-16.

"I'm happy with the win as to back up from last week against Leeds was pleasing," he said.

"Everyone is going on about Giants teams from years gone by but we want to create our own story and build day by day. We are really happy with what we have done. It was scrappy at times but we got the job done.

"We spoke at half-time about the penalties and we changed a few people round thinking about the games we have got ahead. We showed resolve in defence and did some decent stuff with the ball in hand."

Widnes boss Denis Betts conceded his side had been blown away in the first half. They had been level at 6-6 when Paddy Flynn's powerful try cancelled out Ferres' opener. But errors cost them dear as Brough and Aaron Murray crossed the whitewash either side of Larne Patrick's double.

"We started okay but they stepped up the pace and started winning the ruck and to be honest they dominated the first half," Betts said. "We got caught in the head lights and they physically dominated us.

"We had a chat at half-time and we had more venom in us after that. I was pleased with the response the lads gave in the second half. There are some disappointed players in the dressing room as they feel they have let it slip."

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