Huddersfield continue their fine form with victory over a hapless Wigan Warriors, who failed to close the gap to leaders St Helens. Here’s our verdict…
Huddersfield Giants picked up a seventh win in eight matches with a deserved 20-12 victory over a poor Wigan Warriors.
Wigan had got off to a great start with a controversial try in the first five minutes. After Sam Tomkins forced a drop out, there appeared to be a knock on before Liam Marshall kicked inside for Tomkins to claim the ball and open the scoring.
Tomkins was lucky to stay on the field after a high shot on Jermaine McGillvary on the break, but that proved the start of Huddersfield’s dominance as a Lee Gaskell chip a couple of minutes later was claimed and grounded by Darnell McIntosh in the left corner.
Danny Brough couldn’t convert that try but after his kick forced a drop out the Warriors conceded a penalty, not for the first time, and the scrum-half kicked at goal to level the scores.
The next points came after more errors, as they passed forward straight from the scrum before conceding another penalty. Adam O’Brien managed to pull off a great offload close to the line, allowing Alex Mellor to drive over, although Brough somehow drilled the relatively simple conversion attempt against the post.
Wigan continued to be penned in their own half, and another cheap penalty on their 20m line allowed Brough to make up for that miss by adding another two to put the Giants six points ahead at the break.
Any hopes of an improvement from Wigan were dashed when Tom Davies knocked on with their first touch of the second half, and from the scrum Huddersfield moved left with Jake Mamo slipping in McIntosh to dive into the corner for his second try of the game.
The Warriors had a brief spell where they looked brighter but the Giants defence always seemed to have them under control, even when they were down to 12 after Michael Lawrence stopped Josh Woods from restarting after the youngster had kicked a 40/20.
Huddersfield eventually sealed the win with 15 minutes to go, as Brough put a grubber kick into the in goal area and captain Leroy Cudjoe managed to ground the ball.
There was brief hope for Wigan with five minutes to go when Tom Davies socred in the corner, but it was too little and much too late.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Horrific Wigan performance
Wigan look nailed on for a top four spot but they were nothing like a top four side in this game.
The penalty count was ridiculous from them, particularly in the first half, as they looked to keep slowing play down, and it was remarkable that they were never even on a team warning.
When the discipline issues are added to the number of errors produced when they did have the ball, the only surprise in this result is that it wasn’t much heavier.
Giants keep climbing
The Giants continue their remarkable revival under Simon Woolford with a seventh win in their last eight Super League matches.
The are playing with such confidence at the moment and look all but certain of a place in the Super 8s, which seemed close to impossible when they were languishing in bottom place not so long ago.
Man of the Match – Danny Brough
For the second week in a row this award has to go to the Giants scrum-half. His goal kicking might not have been quite up to scratch, but every other part of his performance was perfect.
His kicking kept Wigan constantly penned close to their line and he forced two drop outs in the first half.
He then took complete control of the game in the second half to kill the life out of any potential fightback, before assisting the try for Leroy Cudjoe that finished the game off.
Huddersfield Giants 20
Tries: McIntosh (2), Mellor, Cudjoe
Goals: Brough (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors 12
Tries: Tomkins, Davies
Goals: Tomkins (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield: Mamo; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, McIntosh; Gaskell, Brough; Lawrence, O’Brien, Clough; Mellor, Murphy, Smith.
Interchanges: Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Roberts, English.
Wigan: Tomkins; Davies, Paisley, Gildart, Marshall; Woods, Powell; Navarette, Leuluai, Flower; Isa, Hamlin, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Clubb, Tautai, Escare, Kibula.
Referee: Gareth Hewer