Huddersfield Giants recorded a shock first Super League win of 2019 against a poor Wigan side at the DW Stadium.
The Giants’ win means that Wigan have now lost all five league matches this year. Kruise Leeming and Joe Wardle crossed to maintain the Super League champions’ poor start to the season and also ensured that Huddersfield didn’t have the same fate.
Despite ending a nine-game losing streak stretching back to last season with a first win at the DW Stadium in five years, the Yorkshire club remain bottom, level on points with Leeds Rhinos and Wigan.
Morgan Escare tied the game at 6-6 to give the hosts hope with twenty minutes left, but Lee Gaskell stepped up to add a penalty before converting the impressive Wardle’s try.
In truth, after Leeming’s 11th-minute try, Wigan were continuously second best in a match the Giants’ dominated – summed up by the visitors’ pressure forcing the hosts into making four first-half goal-line drop-outs.
And things got even worse for Wigan as Liam Marshall left the field injured before fellow winger Dom Manfridi on the stroke of half-time with two lost teeth and concussion. The blow made even harsher considering it was his first start since the Grand Final triumph against Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford in October.
For Huddersfield, however, this remarkable win will act as a season-defining moment. Getting that first win on the board is always crucial to confidence and, now that they have it, we can expect to see them climb the league ladder.
Huddersfield deserved the win
From start to finish, the Giants were by far the better side. Their play had better drive, more intensity and they simply wanted it more than their opponents. A truly brilliant performance.
Wigan were poor
There’s no doubting that, on top form, this would have been a fairly routine win for Wigan. Alas, they didn’t show up. And not for the first time this season. Troubling times are ahead if they do not improve.
The Giants are back
After a topsy turvy 2018, followed by a turbulent close season with players departing left, right and centre, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Giants to start the campaign well. But they’re well and truly back now.
They’re not just a one man team
Going into the game, all Huddersfield eyes were on Jermaine McGillvary. The winger had scored twice in as many matches after returning from injury going into the game and he was thoroughly expected to be the thorn in Wigan’s side. But his comrades showed that it’s not all about him. Brilliant stuff from the Giants!
Wigan Warriors 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants 14
Tries: Leeming, Wardle
Goals: Gaskell (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors: Hardaker, Manfredi, Hankinson, Gildart, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Clubb, Powell, Flower, Isa, Paisley, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Bullock, Tautai, Hamlin, Escare.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Joe Wardle, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley; Ikahihifo, Leeming, Ta’ai, Jake Wardle, Mellor, Murphy.
Interchanges: O’Brien, Roberts, Matagi, Lawrence.
Referee: Robert Hicks