Huddersfield Giants had to withstand a late Wakefield barrage to record a 25-22 victory against their Yorkshire rivals on day two of the Magic Weekend.
The sides scored four tries each in this West Yorkshire derby, but an extra goal and field goal from Danny Brough gave them a narrow win.
Huddersfield got the first try of the game, with Danny Brough slipping in Ukuma Ta’ai who passed to Aaron Murphy outside him to score.
Wakefield came close a few minutes later as Mason Caton-Brown crossed after a blistering move, but the video referee confirmed that his foot had been forced into touch by the defender.
The Giants took advantage with two further tries, as Adam O’Brien forced his way over from dummy half before Murphy ran a great line to break through the Trinity defence and found Jake Mamo to score.
Wakefield got a try back after a grubber kick caused chaos and Matty Ashurst was on hand to finish, but Huddersfield had the final say in the first half with a Brough drop goal after his excellent 40/20.
A host of penalties put Huddersfield on the back foot at the start of the second half, and having being placed on a team warning, they lost Kruise Leeming to the sin bin.
Trinity took immediate advantage as Ben Jones-Bishop claimed Jacob Miller’s kick to score, but the Giants restored their 13-point lead when Darnell McIntosh dived in at the corner.
Jones-Bishop brought the gap back down when he was slipped in by Pauli Pauli for his second, and Wakefield got a reprieve when Jordan Rankin looked to have scored, only for the video referee to overule the on-field decision of a try for an obstruction.
Reece Lyne squeezed through a gap to make it a nervy final six minutes, but Huddersfield held firm to secure a big win for interim coach Chris Thorman.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Giants not resigned to Qualifiers
Huddersfield have now picked up three wins in a row in all competitions, and look a far more confident side than they have done previously this season.
It looked like they would be certain to finish in the bottom four when they were at the foot of the table just a few weeks ago, but with the belief, confidence and desire that they know possess, incoming coach Simon Woolford could well lead them into the top eight.
Wakefield fall short again
Wakefield’s poor run of form continues, and they must now be concerned that a place in the top eight is not guaranteed.
For much of the game the effort didn’t match that of Huddersfield’s and their forward pack struggled to make a real impact until it was too late.
Man of the Match – Aaron Murphy (Huddersfield Giants)
There has been a lot of experimentation in the Giants line-up in the last few weeks, and much of it has yielded positive results as the victories have proved.
Aaron Murphy has moved from wing to centre and now second row, and he looked the part here with a powerful performance that included a try and an assist.
Wakefield Trinity 22
Tries: Ashurst, Jones-Bishop (2), Lyne
Goals: Finn (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants 25
Tries: Murphy, O’Brien, Mamo, McIntosh
Goals: Brough (5)
Drop Goals: Brough
Wakefield: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Tupou, Lyne, Caton-Brown; Miller, Finn; Fifita, Randell, Hirst; Kirmond, Ashurst, Arona.
Interchanges: Wood, Pauli, Horo, Huby.
Huddersfield: Rankin; McGillvary, Gaskell, Mamo, McIntosh; Turner, Brough; Ta’ai, O’Brien, Clough; Mellor, Murphy, Hinchcliffe.
Interchanges: Ikahihifo, Leeming, Dickinson, English.
Referee: James Child