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7th March 2003: Wigan 33 Huddersfield 22
Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants Tetley's Super League VIII Round 2
Friday 7th March. Kick Off 8.00pm at JJB Stadium.
CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Report by Rebecca Smith

Newly promoted Huddersfield Giants issued a warning to Super League that they are not going to be the competition's wipping boys.

A second half fight back saw them nearly snatch a late victory at the JJB - but the home side held on for their first points of Super League VIII.

A late try from Martin Aspinwall, two minutes from time, finally killed off the Giant threat. Until that point Wigan never looked assured of victory despite always being ahead.

Disappointed coach Stuart Raper said: 'We let them back into the game and we should have won by 40.'

'Our ball-handling was poor, and the players know that. It was an inconsistent performance over the 80 minutes. But at least we got the two points.'

But for superb defence from Kris Radlinski, Huddersfield would have taken the lead in the opening minutes.

The young Alex Wilkinson, on loan from Bradford, was denied a long range try by a last gasp tackle from the ever dependable full back.

Wigan bounced back with a try from Sean O'Loughlin on the quarter hour mark. Julian O'Neill converted and then ten minutes later extended the lead with a successful penalty.

A spectacular try from Brett Dallas, the end result of an impressive Carney run, was not converted but an Adrian Lam drop edged the home side 13 points clear. But that gap was cut just before half time, albeit through a controversial try. The Wigan players stopped after assuming Earl Crabtree had knocked on butthe referee did not agree and allowed play on. Alex Wilkinson was awarded a try for touching down the lose ball to the dismay of the Wigan players who doubted the grounding.

Wigan extended their lead after the restart with quick tries from David Hodgson then Jamie Ainscough.

Then came the Giant fight back with two tries in three minutes from Darren Turner and Anthony Colella. Brandon Costin converted both to narrow the margin to just 7 points. Danny Sculthorpe's first try for the club should have calmed the Wigan nerves but again Huddersfield hit right back. Jim Gannon's try, converted by Steve McNamara, made for an uneasy last ten minutes for Wigan fans until Aspinwall's 78-minute score settled it.

Huddersfield coach Tony Smith praised his team's battling performance. 'I can't be disappointed with the effort or the improvement they showed. In the second half the players thought they were going to do it - and so did everyone else in the stadium.'
Team Sheets

Warriors

Giants

No.
Player
Pos No.
Player
1 Kris Radlinski Full Back 34 Marcus St Hilaire
5 Brian Carney Wing 2 Hefin O'Hare
3 Jamie Ainscough Centre 3 Ben Cooper
14 David Hodgson Centre 4 Julian Bailey
2 Brett Dallas Wing 16 Alex Wilkinson
6 Julian O'Neill Stand Off 13 Steve McNamara
7 Adrian Lam Scrum Half 6 Brandon Costin
16 Danny Sculthorpe Prop 8 Matt Slicker
9 Terry Newton Hooker 15 Darren Turner
10 Craig Smith Prop 10 James Gannon
19 Stephen Wild 2nd Row 20 Matt Calland
12 Danny Tickle 2nd Row 12 Anthony Colella
15 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward 7 Jarrod Doherty
17 Mark Smith Sub 5 Matt Whittaker
18 Martin Aspinwall Sub 9 Paul March
21 Ricky Bibey Sub 11 Earl Crabtree
23 Gareth Hock Sub 18 John Grayshon
Score Sheet
Wigan Warriors 33-22 Huddersfield Giants

Tries:
Sean O'Loughlin (15)
Brett Dallas (30)
David Hodgson (41)
Jamie Ainscough (47)
Danny Sculthorpe (66)
Martin Aspinwall (78)

Tries:
Alex Wilkinson (38)
Darren Turner (56)
Anthony Colella (59)
James Gannon (70)

Goals:
Julian O'Neill 4

Goals:
Steve McNamara
Brandon Costin 2
Drop Goal:
Adrian Lam (35)
Match Info

Half Time: 13-4 Wigan
Match Attendance: 8,187
Referee: Karl Kirkpatrick (Warrington)
Cherry and White.co.uk Man of the Match : Danny Sculthorpe

Alternative Match Reports
Giants go down bravely to the pies - Huddersfield Fartowners.co.uk Match Report
Late try makes points safe for Wigan - BBC Match Report
Warriors made to battle by Giants - Sky Sports Match Report
Wigan made to fight all the way - Press Association Match Report
Warriors win against battling Giants - Superleague.co.uk Match Report
Wigan survive Huddersfield scare - rleague.com Match Report
Giants go so close! - Huddersfield Daily Examiner Match Report
Wigan dig deep for win - wiganrl.com Match Report
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