- Match Report as Wigan fall short against Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.
- Sam Halsall scored a brace, with Matty Nicholson also grabbing a double on debut.
- FT | Huddersfield Giants 32-22 Wigan Warriors.
Sam Halsall and Matty Nicholson both crossed for a brace of tries each but the spirited performance on the road wasn’t enough to take the two points away from Huddersfield.
Huddersfield got into a two score lead with tries from Louis Senior and Ricky Leutele but Matt Peet’s men responded well as Sam Halsall went over for his first score of 2022 to reduce the deficit to 12-6 at the break.
A spirited response from Wigan saw Halsall go over for a second as Matty Nicholson added a double on his debut, but it wasn’t enough for the Warriors to take the two points on the road in Huddersfield.
Logan Astley made his first team debut at half back whilst Matty Nicholson featured off the interchange bench for his senior debut. Abbas Miski and Willie Isa returned to the starting line-up as James McDonnell also featured on his return from loan with Leigh Centurions.
Huddersfield opened the scoring in the 6th minute as the Giants created an overlap on the left edge to see Louis Senior over for the try. The conversion from Russell on the touchline was on target to give the hosts an early 6-0 lead. Senior thought he was in again in the 10th minute with a similar overlap move but good cover from Bevan French saw the full back force him into touch and deny Giants the score.
Wigan’s best chance then came from Sam Halsall, the winger raced through a gap to get Wigan deep into the Huddersfield half before looping a ball over the top to Bevan French. The full back attempts a chip over the top but is stopped in his tracks and Joe Greenwood was sent to the sin bin.
Huddersfield extended their lead in the 26th minute, after working into Wigan territory, Ricky Leutele powered his way over the line, converted by Oliver Russell to make it 12-0. Wigan responded almost immediately though, as Iain Thornley made a break to get the ball away to Bevan French, the full back was stopped but not before he could get the pass away to Halsall to score, the effort was converted by Smith for 12-6.
It was the hosts who were next to score, as they made an instant impact from the restart. Working deep into Wigan territory, a looping pass out to Louis Senior on the left wing got reward again, with the touchline conversion from Russell on target for 18-6.
Huddersfield extended the lead in the 53rd minute, after earning a penalty and getting closer to the Wigan goal line, Wardle collected a pass on the right edge to put the ball down, as Jake Bibby forced his man over the touchline. After a check from the video referee, Wardle was awarded the try and the Giants had a 22-6 advantage.
Wigan had a response just after the hour mark, a fired out pass saw Thornley get quick hands away to Sam Halsall who raced through and cut inside to score, the conversion attempt from out wide from Smith was wide and it was 22-10 going into the final quarter.
Wigan were in again almost immediately, a kick over the top bounces kindly for Abbas Miski who has Matty Nicholson in support for the forward to score on his debut. Harry Smith slotted over the extras and Wigan were back within a score at 22-16.
Huddersfield were in again going into the final 10 minutes, a kick through from Fages was collected by Sam Hewitt to glide over and put the scores at 26-16. Matty Nicholson was in again for a double on his debut though, as Wigan piled on some pressure late on, the effort was converted by Harry Smith for 26-22.
The Giants grabbed a late effort as Louis Senior managed to stay in the whitewash to complete his hat-trick, converted by Russell to see the hosts to a 32-22 victory.
Huddersfield Giants: Tui Lolohea, Louis Senior, Jake Wardle, Ricky Leutele, Ashton Golding, Oliver Russell, Theo Fages, Joe Greenwood, Adam O’Brien, Oliver Wilson, Sam Hewitt, Jack Ashworth, Matty English.
Interchanges: Danny Levi, Michael Lawrence, Nathan Mason, Owen Trout.
Tries: Senior (6′, 43′, 79′), Leutele (26′), Wardle (53′), Hewitt (72′)
Goals: Russell 4/6
Sin Bin: Greenwood (18′)
Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Sam Halsall, Iain Thornley, Jake Bibby, Abbas Miski, Logan Astley, Harry Smith, Brad Singleton, Brad O’Neill, Kaide Ellis, Willie Isa, James McDonnell, Oliver Partington.
Interchange: Patrick Mago, Ethan Havard, Joe Shorrocks, Matty Nicholson.
Tries: Halsall (32′, 61′), Nicholson (64′, 74′)
Goals: Smith 3/4
Referee: Tom Grant