Sezer-inspired Giants ease to victory in McGillvary testimonial

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Halifax were served a reminder of the sizeable gap between the Championship and Super League as Huddersfield eased to a 42-6 pre-season win at the John Smith’s Stadium in England winger Jermaine McGillvary’s testimonial fixture.

Something approaching a full strength Giants line up, which included marquee half back signing Aidan Sezer - a player who reputedly earns significantly more per season than Fax’s entire team put together - dominated the first half hour as they racked up a 24-0 interval lead with some slick attacking play.

Having been on the front foot for much of last weekend’s opening warm up game against Hull, Simon Grix’s Fax line up got plenty of chances to practice their goalline defence this week but little opportunity to showcase their attack.

They gained some reward for their undoubted efforts in the second half with a debut try for winger Jodie Broughton, but it was telling their best performers - forwards Will Calcott, Kevin Larroyer and Jacob Fairbank and winger Shaun Robinson - did the majority of their work in yardage as the visitors repeatedly worked the ball out of their own territory.

Fax didn’t do much wrong in the opening minutes, but once the home side took a sixth-minute lead through Jordan Turner, Sezer converting from the sideline for a 6-0 advantage, they found themselves unable to half Huddersfield’s momentum at the ruck.

And with time and space to play with, the Giants’ Halifax-born hooker Adam O’Brien, who was so impressive in two loan appearances for Fax a few years ago, Sezer and young half back partner Oliver Russell started to wreak havoc.

The visitors’ defence had done well to deny prop Matty English by the time the Giants put on a runaround on the left and O’Brien’s deft kick was pounced on by Turner, Sezer again converting from close to the sideline.

New full back signing Ashton Golding scored next, again down Fax’s left, when Russell slipped him a neat inside ball.

Sezer converted again and was almost inevitably on target when McGillvary marked his big day with an easy run to the line from Turner’s pass.

That made it 24-0 after half an hour and it was only then that Fax finally managed to stem their hosts’ momentum and generate some of their own, Paul Brearley winning a penalty on half way and then being held up over the whitewash as the visitors finally got the chance to attack.

That was how it stayed until the break and it was Fax, despite the fatigue they had accumulated during the first half, who scored first in the second half, Broughton touching down after a neat kick from full back Scott Grix.

With both coaches gradually removing their senior players, Huddersfield responded with a 63rd minute try from back rower Owen Trout before a stunning solo score from teenager Jordan Paga and a last-play touchdown from Darnell McIntosh rounded off the scoring.

Huddersfield: Golding; McGillvary, Turner, Wardle, McIntosh; Russell, Sezer; English. O’Brien, Matagi, Lawrence, Wardle, Murphy. Subs: Butterworth, Wilson, Roberts, Young, Walne, L. Senior, I. Senior, Hewitt, Copley, Wood, Kirby, Paga, Trout.

Halifax: Grix; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, McGrath; Murrell, Gilmore; Morris, Carlile, Fleming, Larroyer, Brearley, Fairbank. Subs: Curtis Davies, Calcott, Hirst, Connor Davies, Broughton, Waite, Chapman-Smith, Robinson, Stroud.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas

Attendance: 2,200