Wigan kept up the pressure on Super League leaders Bradford with a
comfortable 48-24 win over Huddersfield, Andy Farrell contributed 24
points. It was the Warriors strong second-half performance that won the
game, with Stuart Raper's half-time teamtalk obviously doing the trick.|
The Warriors purple patch killed the game as a contest after it was
level at the interval, with very little to choose between the teams in
the first period. The Giants first half showing was nothing short of
brilliant, and the game did not look like the two sides were at opposite
ends of Super League table.
Huddersfield dominated the early exchanges and deservedly went into an early
lead in the fourth minute when Troy Stone was held up just short of the line but
did well to offload to try machine Andrew Frew, who was able to touch down in
the corner. Brandon Costin converted a brilliant touchline kick to give the home
side a 6-0 lead. The lead should have been extended moments later by Frew as he
danced down the flank but a great covering tackle from a Warriors player guided
him into touch.
Inevitably Wigan hit back five minutes later, when Terry Newton touched down
after a great break from David Hodgson, which Farrell converted. However the
Giants went back in front when Costin powered his way through some weak Warriors
tackling to crash over and he was able to convert his own score.
Midway through the half, Farrell kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit, after
Adrian Lam was obstructed. The away side could have drawn level soon after, when
Paul Johnson made a brilliant break from the halfway line but was hauled down
just inches short of the try line. Martin Gleeson and Ben Kusto both went close
for the Giants but the home side was left to rue their missed chances when
Hodgson touched down for Wigan six minutes before the break. Farrell put a kick
over the top of the Giants defence; Kris Radlinski brilliantly caught the ball,
fed Newton who this time turned provider for Hodgson to touch down. Farrell
pulled his conversion to send the sides in level at the break.
Wigan's try burst began in the 48th minute with Harvey Howard crashing over from
close range. Farrell scored the first of his two tries three minutes later when
he collected a short Lam kick and further scores from David Furner and Radlinski
ended any chances of the Giants creating an upset.
Credit must however go to Tony Smith's men for not giving up, as they ran in two
well-worked scores of their own to fight back well. Stanley Gene proved what a
great signing he has been, when he broke down the centre of the field and fed
Chris Langley for a fine try.
Five minutes from time man-of-the-match Costin scored his second try of the game
when he intercepted a pass on his own 20m line but only had enough gas in the
tank to get within five metres of the line. But with the Warriors defence
struggling to get back, Paul Reilly picked the ball up at acting halfback and
dived over. Costin converted to take his points tally to 12 and made the score
36-24 to Raper's men.
Two late scores from Farrell and Radlinski gave the score a flattering look for
the Cherry and Whites but on the evidence of this match the Giants will not be
too down hearted. Following their first league win of the season last week
against Wakefield, it will surely not be long before another win comes their