Huddersfield depth proves vital
Both coaches admitted Huddersfield's strength in depth proved crucial as they came from 14-0 down to beat Hull 42-16 at the KC Stadium to reach the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
While Nathan Brown was able to field a virtual full-strength Giants side, Hull boss Peter Gentle was forced to give a debut to 18-year-old three-quarter Ben Crooks in the absence of nine first teamers and had two other players on the bench with three senior appearances between them.
Brown said: "No side does anything without a good bench and obviously our bench was more experienced than theirs. We're fortunate that at the moment we've got a lot of blokes who have just come back from injury and it enabled us to have a bench that could have impact."
He added: "I thought David Faiumu's involvement just before and just after half-time was really crucial for us."
Gentle said: "I knew we were in trouble when I saw their team sheet with three NRL players on their bench. We're just depleted at the moment. The upside is the experience the young blokes are getting now is terrific."
Hull made light of their injuries when winger Tom Briscoe ran in two tries and Danny Tickle kicked three goals to go 14-0 up after 35 minutes. Huddersfield pulled a try back through Luke George just before half-time and, with forwards Faiumu, David Fa'alogo, Larne Patrick and Luke O'Donnell making impact from the bench, they ran riot in the second half with seven tries.
"Today we had to bring our best game with us and for 40 minutes I thought we did," added Gentle. "I'm not disappointed. There was a lot of inexperience out there. We had a fair shot at them."
Hull's injury situation worsened after they lost Brett Seymour (knee), Richard Whiting (hamstring), Jordan Turner (dead leg) before the end of the tie.
Huddersfield's exciting outside backs scored their team's first six tries and Leroy Cudjoe provided the highlight with an 80-metre individual effort on 54 minutes that put his side in front for the first time.
"You sort of expect Leroy to do that sort of thing, especially when the game is in the balance," said Brown. "He's a quality player. When you've got international centres in your squad, they are required to come up with big plays in big games. It's not uncommon for Leroy to do that."