Match Report as Wigan Warriors beat the Huddersfield Giants 18-4 in wet conditions
Three unanswered Wigan tries seal victory after going behind in a game with only a few chances
- Anthony Gelling, Liam Farrell and Sam Tomkins got over the line for the Warriors.
Wigan finally overcame Huddersfield in a tough encounter in wet conditions at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
The Warriors, who had drawn both games with the Giants earlier this season, scored three unanswered tries to secure the win.
The first half began with a myriad of errors from both teams as drizzle fell and made its mark on the game. Huddersfield struck first on 12 minutes when Jermaine McGillvary found the line after Joe Burgess spilled Danny Brough’s kick. Wigan struck back four minutes later when Anthony Gelling found his way through the defence. Both teams were strong in defence before Liam Farrell scored when he skidded onto a grubber.
Sam Powell grabbed the first points of the half with a penalty goal and the sides cancelled each other out until the final play of the game as Sam Tomkins followed up a Micky Mcilorum kick with one of his own to chase down and score.
Shaun Wane has named an identical starting line up to the one which fell to Leeds last week with the only change coming on the bench as Sam Powell returned from suspension replacing Josh Ganson.
Huddersfield were without Leroy Cudjoe (ankle) with Sam Rapira (rib) also dropping out. Alex Mellor is promoted from the bench to centre as Sebastine Ikahihifo joins the front row with Paul Clough playing at loose forward. Rick Stone did, however, welcome back Michael Lawrence from a lengthy injury spell.
The opening stages were controlled by the rapidly deteriorating conditions. What began as a light drizzle soon became heavier and resulted in slippery conditions with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball.
The conditions played a part in the opening try when a Wigan handling error gave Huddersfield a perfect opportunity. Danny Brough’s cross-field chip was missed by Joe Burgess and Jermaine McGillvary picked up the pieces to score. Brough’s conversion missed as Huddersfield led 0-4 after 12 minutes.
Wigan’s response was swift as Huddersfield made a mistake on their own line and the Warriors pounced. As soon as Anthon Gelling received the ball he was looking for the try line and he slipped through a gap as two defenders failed to grasp the centre. George Williams missed his conversion attempt with the scores back level at 4-4 with 16 minutes played.
Both teams were proving hard to break down as both teams put pressure on their opponents. Wigan had the better chances with both Powell and Tom Davies coming close before Liam Farrell ended the dry spell as he pounced on a bouncing kick to ground the ball and score. Powell kicked this one to give Wigan a 10-4 with three minutes of the half remaining.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 10–4 Huddersfield Giants
Already in front, the Warriors edged further away from Rick Stone’s side in the 51st minute when they elected to kick a penalty goal after interference at the play-the-ball. The score stood at 12-4 with 29 minutes left to play.
Despite the rain having eased off, both sides continued to struggle as they tried to piece together a point scoring play with neither able to cause any real danger. Burgess had a couple of chances as he failed to get ahold of Williams’ grubber and then Tomkins’ cut-out ball.
Yet, it wasn’t as if Huddersfield didn’t push as they also had their opportunities with Mellor being stopped at close range by Farrell and McGillvary coming close after a grubber to the in-goal.
The second half seemed destined to go without a try but Wigan finally broke the deadlock as Tomkins’ attempt to kick the ball out was deflected before Michael McIlorum tapped the ball away from the last defender as Tomkins dribbled with his feet to the line. Tomkins himself converted with a final score of 18-4.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 18–4 Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors - 18
Tries: Anthony Gelling, Liam Farrell, Sam Tomkins
Goals: Sam Powell 2/3, Sam Tomkins 1/1
Huddersfield Giants - 4
Tries: Jermaine McGillvary
Goals: Brough 0/1
HT: Wigan Warriors 10-4 Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 36. Tom Davies, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Micky McIlorum, 19. Ryan Sutton, 14. John Bateman, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin
Interchange: 20. Willie Isa, 15. Tony Clubb, 16. Sam Powell, 17. Taulima Tautai
Huddersfield Giants: 35. Jordan Rankin, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 30. Alex Mellor, 34. Jordan Turner, 24. Darnell McIntosh, 4. Lee Gaskell, 6. Danny Brough, 15. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 14. Kruise Leeming, 10. Shannon Wakeman, 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 18. Paul Clough
Interchange: 31. Adam O’Brien, 13. Michael Lawrence, 20. Daniel Smith, 22. Tyler Dickinson
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