Match report as Wigan Warriors draw with Huddersfield 16-16
Tom Davies makes Wigan debut while Liam Farrell was a late drop out
- Morgan Escare, Tom Davies and Anthony Gelling with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Warriors picked up a point to go top of the table as they played out a pulsating 16-16 draw against Huddersfield Giants at the DW Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Huddersfield scored the opening try through Lee Gaskell but Wigan levelled things up due to a Morgan Escaré try. Darnell McIntosh put the Giants back into the lead before Tom Davies pulled one back for Wigan in his debut game. Danny Brough added a penalty to see the Giants lead 14-10 at the break.
Gelling scored the first try of the second-half to level the scores again prior to another penalty conversion from Brough. Escaré rescued a point for Wigan in the latter stages of the game with a penalty goal, both sides had drop-goal attempts miss the target late on as the game ended 16-16.
Shaun Wane named just one change to the Wigan side that beat Warrington last week as Tom Davies made his first-team debut on the wing while Liam Farrell was a late drop-out owing to a calf injury. Jack Wells started in the back-row with Liam Forsyth on the bench.
Rick Stone brought in Tyler Dickinson for Ryan Brierley following their defeat at Leigh Centurions last weekend.
Wigan started on the attack and looked to have numbers on the left side but a pass was intercepted by Jermaine McGillvary who ran 90-metres before being caught by Anthony Gelling. Lee Gaskell scooted over the line in the next play though as the Wigan players were just getting back. Danny Brough converted to put his side in a 6-0 lead.
Already 6-0 down the Warriors were handed a hammerblow in the eighth minute when Sean O’Loughlin (calf) and Jack Wells (ankle) both left the action through injury.
The visitors were then handed a penalty due to an infringement in the 10th minute but Brough’s penalty conversion attempt from in front hit the post and came back out.
Shaun Wane’s Wigan side clicked into gear following the penalty and motored their way back up the other end of the field to score. A crisp Tommy Leuluai pass found Joel Tomkins who assisted Morgan Escaré on the inside. Escaré converted his own try to level the score at 6-6.
The Giants went back in front midway through the first-half as Darnell McIntosh stormed onto a Gaskell pass on the last tackle to dive over. Brough added the extras and Huddersfield were back in front at 12-6.
Tom Davies brought Wigan back into the game on the half hour mark with a fine finish in the corner after receiving an offload from Joel Tomkins to score on his debut. Escaré’s conversion went just wide of the mark meaning Wigan were now just 10-12 behind.
Huddersfield were awarded a penalty for a high tackle with five minutes of the first-half remaing and Scotland international Brough made no mistakes this time to put his side 14-10 in front with a penalty goal.
Wigan had a set on the Huddersfield line just before half-time but a knock-on saw Rick Stone’s outfit lead 14-10 when going into the changing rooms.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 10–14 Huddersfield Giants
Wigan came out firing in the second-half and Gelling made the score level. The Cook Islands international dashed through a gap in the Giants defence on the right side to score. The conversion was off target but the score was level once more at 14-14.
The away side were given a penalty when approaching the hour-mark due to Wigan’s markers not being square. Brough again added the penalty goal to edge his side 16-14 in front.
Huddersfield hooker Kruise Leeming was then sent to the sin bin with 13 minutes remaining for a high shot on Davies.
The Giants were soon penalised for taking too long in tackle. As a result, Escare kicked the penalty goal and the score was tied at 16-16.
With the scores level, Wigan hooker Sam Powell attempted kicking a drop-goal but it went wide in the 77th minute. Brough also went for a drop-goal in Huddersfield’s last set of the game but it was unsuccessful owing to great pressure from the Wigan defence and the game ended a draw.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 16–16 Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors – 16
Tries: Escare, Davies, Gelling
Goals: Escare 2/4
Huddersfield Giants - 16
Tries: McGillvary, McIntosh
Goals: Brough 4/5
Wigan Warriors: 22. Morgan Escare; 36. Tom Davies, 3. Anthony Gelling, 20. Willie Isa, 35. Liam Marshall; 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai; 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower; 11. Joel Tomkins, 28. Jack Wells; 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Interchange: 15. Tony Clubb, 17. Taulima Tautai, 26. Romain Navarrete, 32. Liam Forsyth.
Huddersfield Giants: 24. Darnell McIntosh; 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 30. Alex Mellor, 5. Aaron Murphy; 6. Danny Brough, 4. Lee Gaskell; 8. Sam Rapira, 14. Kruise Leeming, 15. Sebastine Ikahihifo; 16. Oliver Roberts, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai; 18. Paul Clough.
Interchange: 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 10. Shannon Wakeman, 20. Daniel Smith, 22. Tyler Dickinson.
Referee – Chris Kendall