Wigan outdone by Giants
Warriors come up short in Huddersfield conceding four tries
- Sam Tomkins and Tom Davies with Wigan’s tries on the night
Wigan Warriors were beaten 20-12 away to Huddersfield Giants in round 21 of the Betfred Super League. The Giants outscored the Warriors four tries to two with Wigan’s tries coming from Sam Tomkins and Tom Davies.
Samy Kibula was called-up to make his Wigan debut. Romain Navarrete returned after suspension, Sean O’Loughlin was back in the squad - John Bateman was a late withdrawal with a tight groin.
Wigan burst out of the blocks with a try their early endeavour deserved. Sam Tomkins was the scorer, collecting a fortuitous bounce from a Liam Marshall kick to dot the ball down just left of the uprights.
The Warriors looked confident in the opening exchanges. Skipper Sean O’Loughlin was his usual influential self, dictating play from the middle channel whilst Sam Powell and Sam Tomkins were combining well down the Warriors right edge that had Liam Paisley starting in the right centre spot after John Bateman’s withdrawal from the game.
The hosts burst into life via their talismanic wing, Jermaine McGillvary (typo). The England flyer moved through the gears to burst through the Wigan left-edge defence only to be felled by a high Sam Tomkins tackle that temporarily forced the Giants wing off the field.
If McGillvary’s powerful foray into the Warriors 20 metre was a shot across the Wigan bow, then minutes later one of the Giants shots eventually landed. Darnell McIntosh collected a deft chipped kick from Lee Gaskell to evade the desperate clutches of Tom Davies to score. Danny Brough was wayward with his conversion but the momentum was swinging in his side’s favour.
Wigan’s ill discipline began to get the better of them. A series of penalties invited the Giants into the game and after an offside at the play of the ball, Brough made amends for his earlier prolificacy in front of the posts, landing the two points. With O’Loughlin off (not to return for the rets of the game due to a flare up of his calf injury that ruled him out of last weeks win over Warrington), Wigan lost their strangle hold in the middle of the field.
In the 25th minute, the Giants pressure would tell again, when Alex Mellor wriggled his way over to score his side’s second try of the evening. Brough missed the conversion, but once again had the chance to cancel out the error with another penalty in the 36th minute.
Half-Time: Huddersfield Giants 12 Wigan Warriors 6
Wigan were slow out of the blocks in comparison to their hosts, who quickly added to their try tally just two minutes into the half. It was wing Darrell McIntosh who finished a sweeping right to left move, showing some fine dexterity to score in the left hand corner. Brough was unable to convert form the touchline.
Wigan were playing a Huddersfield side buoyed by their recent up turn in form, and it showed. The Giants were playing with real zip in attack and showed real fortitude in defence highlighted by their efforts to hold-up Sam Tomkins over the line in the 45th minute.
Wigan continued to plug away but the Giants defensive line continued to stand firm. The Warriors had a sniff of finding a way back into the game when Huddersfield’s long-serving back rower Michael Lawrence was yellow carded for some cynical play after a Josh Woods 40/20. Wigan though, couldn’t press home their numerical advantage and it was the Giants who cross next in the game when Leroy Cudjoe burrowed over to score in the 65th minute. Again, Brough was wayward with his conversion attempt.
As the contest entered its latter stages, tempers started to flare up, with Wigan’s frustrations threatening to get the better of them, whilst the Giants own discipline started to inhibit their dominant performance.
The Warriors continued to plug away, and wing Tom Davies crossed in the corner with six minutes left to play collecting a Tomkins cut-out pass to score. Tomkins quickly converted from the touchline as Wigan trailed by eight points with five minutes left on the clock.
Wigan threw caution to wind as a side would chasing down a two score lead with minutes left on the clock, but to not avail. The Giants absorbed the late Wigan onslaught and held on for the win.
Full-Time: Huddersfield Giants 20 Wigan Warriors 12
Huddersfield Giants: Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, McIntosh, Gaskell, Brough, Lawrence, O’Brien, Clough, Mellor, Murphy, Smith. Replacements: Hinchcliffe, English, Ferguson, Roberts. Tries: McIntosh x 2, Mellor , Cudjoe
Conversions 0/4 Brough
Penalties: 2/2 Brough Wigan Warriors: Tomkins, Davies, Paisley, Gildart, Marshall, Woods, Powell, Navarrette, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Hamlin, O’Loughlin. Replacements: Escare, Clubb, Kibula, Tautai.
Tries: Tomkins , Davies Conversions: Tomkins 2/2