Leeds completed an incredible and unimaginable comeback in golden point as Luke Gale’s drop goal sunk the hearts of Huddersfield.
Ashton Golding started at full-back against his former club, while Kruise Leeming and Alex Mellor had an opportunity to shine against their former employer.
Huddersfield didn’t take long to resume their pre-halt form as Lee Gaskell’s grubber found Innes Senior in the in-goal in the opening few minutes.
The Rhinos hit back though when Ash Handley’s pass allowed Konrad Hurrell to do what he does best, which is power his way over from close range.
Darnell McIntosh regained the lead imminently as he was presented with a relatively simple stroll-in out wide.
McIntosh scored his second before the break, after he received a looping pass from Lee Gaskell.
Aidan Sezer ended the half with a penalty goal, which was given due to an escort from Joe Mellor.
HT: Giants 14-6 Rhinos
McIntosh had been in a dry spell for almost a year, but managed to complete his first-ever hat-trick on Super League’s return with an outstanding solo score as he picked up a loose pass from the opposition and raced away 80m unopposed.
As Leeds’ night got worse, through a sin-bin to Ash Handley for dissent, Huddersfield benefitted from their fifth score of the evening.
Luke Gale clawed back a few points for Leeds as he dummied his way over, but 16 points were required in 12 minutes.
There was some hope, though, as Tom Briscoe, at full stretch, dotted the ball down centimetres away from the sideline, but Rhyse Martin’s missed conversion kept their hefty deficit.
Joe Mellor looked to have been held up by Ashton Golding with eight minutes remaining but the score was given. Martin’s conversion left Leeds craving one converted score.
This score would come with two minutes on the clock as Hurrell powered his way over for his second, and Martin’s conversion meant golden point.
Gale secured a simply captivating two competition points with a drop-goal from 40m out in golden point.
FT: Giants 26-27 Rhinos
Giants: Golding, L. Senior, Wardle, Turner, McIntosh, Gaskell, Sezer, Gavet, O’Brien, English, Edwards, Wood, Lawrence; Subs: Holmes, Wilson, Matagi, Murphy
Rhinos: Myler, Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Gale, Lui, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Oledzki, Mellor, Martin, Prior; Subs: Smith, Donaldson, Cuthbertson, Leeming