|Barrow (6) 16|
|Tries: Ritson 2, Stack Goals: Sammut 2|
|Huddersfield (18) 30|
|Tries: Yates, Leutele, Ikahihifo, Ashworth, I Senior Goals: Russell 5|
Huddersfield Giants survived a real sixth-round battle with Championship side Barrow Raiders to book their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
First-half tries for Luke Yates, Ricky Leutele and Sebastine Ikahihifo earned the Giants an 18-6 interval lead.
Barrow got to within a converted score three times thanks to two tries from Tee Ritson and one for Jarrad Stack.
But Jack Ashworth got the Giants’ fourth try before Oliver Russell’s penalty and a late Innes Senior try.
Beating the last non-Super League side left in the competition earned Huddersfield a home quarter-final with Hull in a fortnight’s time.
Huddersfield have won the cup six times but the last time was 1953, two years before Barrow won the famous old trophy for the one and only time when they beat Workington in an-all Cumberland final at Wembley in 1955.
But Barrow beat Huddersfield 38-16 the last time the two sides met in the Challenge Cup at Craven Park in 1989 – and there were times when they looked truly capable of a real upset.
Huddersfield, who had made seven changes, looked on course for a comfortable passage into the last eight after early tries from Yates and Leutele, both converted by Russell but then flying winger Ritson came up with a real game changer.
Close to his own line, he intercepted Ash Goulding’s pass and was off away and uncatchable, running almost the entire length of the field to score.
Former Bradford Bulls, London Broncos, Leigh and Wigan half-back Jarrod Sammut added the first of the two conversions to make it 12-6 only for the bubble to be quickly burst when Barrow were caught on the hop by a refereeing call two minutes from half-time – and Ikahihifo crashed through weak tackling to score.
Russell added the extras to restore the 12-point cushion but, within four minutes of the restart, Barrow were back in business again when Ritson – last season’s top League One try scorer – darted in at the right corner.
Sammut missed the kick before Ashworth’s unconverted try stretched the Giants’ lead to 22-10.
Jarrad Stack made it a contest again when he got Barrow’s third try, Sammut improving to make it 22-16.
But Russell’s penalty had already effectively closed the door before the controversial Senior try which closed the scoring in the final minute.
Huddersfield appeared to get away with a ball steal in the tackle, but man of the match Russell appropriately had the final word as his fifth kick of the afternoon confirmed that safe but far from smooth passage to the last eight – and Barrow’s first home defeat since 2018.
Barrow coach Paul Crarey:
“We put a lot of effort in. If we had got a try in that spell when we went three straight sets, it would have been game on. But we relieved the pressure for them by being offside and, when they got down the other end, I knew then it was tall order.
“It was a massive effort to even stay with a top-four Super League team. My part-time boys gave everything they’ve got.
“We put some good shape on well and we didn’t waver from that. We stuck to our process and the difference was probably the lack of clinical finishing in the second half with the amount of possession we had.”
Huddersfield coach Ian Watson told BBC Radio Leeds:
“The job was to get in, get it done, get through to the quarter-finals and keep a few fresh to face Catalans next week – and we did that, but Barrow were outstanding.
“They never let up, the way they attacked was tremendous and we had to defend well. We started well with the right mentality and it was probably that which won us the game”
“It was a poor pass that led to Ritson’s interception try but it made it into a contest which proved great entertainment for everyone that turned out. Barrow’s performance highlighted the quality of the Championship.”
Barrow: Brooks; B Carter, Crellin, Cresswell, Emslie; Forster, Gillam; Hopkins, Iaria, Johnston, Kelly, Miloudi, Morrow.
Interchanges: Mossop, Ritson, Sammut, Stack, Terrill, S. Toal, Wheeler, Wood.
Huddersfield: McGillvary; Leutele, Golding, Lolohea, Levi; Lawrence, Yates; English, Greenwood, Trout, Ikahihifo, O’Brien, Wilson.
Interchanges: Cudjoe, L Senior, Russell, I Senior, Mason, Ashworth, Hewitt, Roby.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.
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