LEIGH Leopards fluffed their lines on the opening night of their new Betfred Super League campaign as Huddersfield clipped the Leopards’ claws with an upset 16-8 win.

Wingers Josh Charnley and Tom Briscoe scored the home side’s two tries while Giants replied with three via Ethan Marsters, Adam Milner and Elliot Wallis.

Twice Adrian Lam’s side were reduced to 12-men with captain John Asiata and Huddersfield old boy, Ricky Leutele sin binned.

More worryingly was a first half injury to Edwin Ipape that saw the Papua New Guinea ace unable to continue.

Leigh displayed plenty of endeavour but repeatedly coughed up cheap possession with basic errors.

The only consolation was the Leopards also lost their opening game on their return to Super League 12 months ago but recovered to reach the play-offs for the first time.

The home side thought they had opened the scoring as Kai O’Donnell, chased Lachlan Lam’s kick after seven minutes.

Instead, referee Jack Smith and video referee, Tom Grant, adjudged the Aussie second row hadn’t grounded in play.

However, the same confirmation awarded the opening touchdown after 10 minutes to Giants’ centre Marsters who seized on Jake Connor’s tap back to score. Olly Russell goaled.

Before the game re-started Ipape was replaced by Matt Davis and immediately went down the tunnel for an injury assessment.

Leopards were certainly rattled and both sides gave no quarter in a feisty first period.

Tom Amone and Leroy Cudjoe were involved in an initial skirmish while Sam Hewitt’s tackle on Charnley and Chris Hill’s follow-up saw players from both sides squaring up again.

When peace broke out Leigh notched their first points though last season’s familiar supply line.

Matt Moylan kicked to Leigh’s left edge and Charnley applied a vital touch as he slid over. Zak Hardaker missed with his touchline conversion.

Cudjoe’s challenge on Moylan was penalised with a penalty but Leopards lost the newcomer to a head injury assessment much to his bemusement.

Things quickly went from bad to worse as skipper Asiata was sin binned for a professional foul after ex Leyther Adam Swift dived for the corner.

Giants immediately made the most of their advantage with Adam Milner burrowing over for a try improved by Russell.

Moylan reappeared for the second half and Asiata’s return briefly brought Leigh back up to a full roster.

That was until the 43rd minute when Leutele was yellow carded for a late challenge on Connor.

This time the 12-men didn’t concede but still struggled for any fluency or cohesion.

Giants lost Connor for a HIA but they withstood Leigh’s pressure to virtually wrap up the points 14 minutes from time.

Winger Elliot Wallis dived in for glory at the corner to register his first try since joining from Castleford.

Tom Briscoe accepted Hardaker’s pass to give Leigh hope seven minutes from time but it was too little too late.

Teams: Leigh: O’Brien; Briscoe, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley; Moylan, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Hughes, Asiata; substitutes: Norman, Davis, Halton, Nakubuwai.

Tries: Charnley (22), Briscoe (74).

Goals: Hardaker 0/2.

Huddersfield: Connor; Swift, Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis; Clune, Russell; Hill, Milner, Ikahihifo, Murchie, Hewitt, Hewitt, Cudjoe; substitutes: Golding, English, Wilson, Salabio.

Tries: Marsters (10), Milner (34), Wallis (63).

Goals: Russell 2/3.

Referee: Jack Smith.

Half-time: 4-12.

Attendance: 8,505.