Play Off Match Report: Huddersfield 8 Wigan 22
Posted by cherryandwhite on September 13 2013 - 01:00
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Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors - Super League 18 Play Off Qualifier
Thursday 12th September 2013
. Kick Off 8:00pm at John Smiths Stadium.

Match Report

We all know what this current play off system is like. The regular season doesn't matter and it's all about doing the business when the time is right. Wigan did that in great style here to beat league leaders Huddersfield and earn a home play off in two weeks time at the DW, which leaves us just 80 minutes away from the Grand Final.

Ironically we find ourselves in the same position as last year, after we'd finished first, but this win should help us a lot more than the long forgotten 44-4 walkover of Catalan did 12 months ago.

For me, we won this in the coaches box. Very astute from Shaun Wane. I said at half time on the radio that what Wigan needed to do to win this game was a deal with Eorl Crabtree's return and his decision to bring on both Scott Taylor and Lee Mossop at that point, to stifle his return, worked a treat.

I've seen it before from Huddersfield. They can falter when Crabtree leaves the field and this is exactly what happened in this match. It had been a tight first 20 minutes with Huddersfield leading 6-0 when Crabtree left the field and from that moment on this was Wigan's game.

You could just see our pack start to dominate and Huddersfield's players begin to get rattle. Danny Brough in particular lost his way and without him to lead, the Giants just withered away.

Things did look ominous for Wigan early on though. After receiving a penalty following a high tackle shot from Andy Powell, they then forced the first two of an amazing thirteen drop outs that the two sides would make between them during this game.

Following the second drop out, Brough gave the home side the lead with a great solo try. Great step then a missed tackle from Mike McIlorum got him through and another step beat Sam Tomkins. All class and quality to go under the sticks, easy conversion for him made it 6-0.

I'm sure a few hearts from the Wigan fans fell flat at this ominous start, but reality was Wigan hadn't touched the football until the seventh minute. Once we got some possession the signs of a good night became apparent quickly.

Much, much better in attack. Sharper, faster, more slick. Something we haven't seen for quite a while.

Wigan had a good spell around the 10 to 15 minute mark. Sadly one set saw a poor kick by Blake Green go dead but a drop out was forced soon after, however a poor forward pass was thrown by McIlorum.

Then perhaps came a big moment in the 16th minute. Brett Ferres chimed at the line but Wigan managed to hold him back just short for the NO TRY to flash on the screen after video ref Steve Ganson had checked it.

Crabtree then left the field and although Wigan had a set to defend on their own line, after a sloppy pass from McIlorum, they soon went up the other end to level the scores.

Charnley got the ball on the less, stood up Scott Grix, then burst his pace to slide in the corner. In doing so he became the first player in the summer era to score 40 tries in a season and the first to score 40+ in a season for Wigan since Martin Offiah in 1994-1995.

It's an elite list Charnley joins with only Gordon Ratcliffe, Brian Nordgren, Billy Boston, Trevor Lake, Bill Francis, Ellery Hanley, Shaun Edwards and Martin Offiah having scored 40+ in a season since World War II (1945).

Brilliant touchline conversion from Pat Richards made it 6-6 before a Huddersfield error on the kick off allowed him to kick a penalty goal from half way to give us an 8-6 lead.

Have to say I feel the ruling which allowed Blake Green's "error" to be rewarded with a penalty on half way is a poor one. I never knew you only had to touch the ball when doing the one foot out of play to make it go out on the full. I always assumed you had to catch it full with the foot planted, but seems not. Green got away with basically knocking it on. Touching it was enough. I was amused to hear Phil Bentham telling Huddersfield players he'd "supply them with a rule book" about that but to be fair I'm not sure many will have known that.

Anyway Wigan led and with about ten minutes to half time we were looking in control. That said Huddersfield went into half time level. An obstruction call on a "free play" was given and Brough kicked a penalty from long range to make it 8 all. Overall, a fair reflection on what had been seen.

Second half again started tight but Wigan just looked like they had that little bit more. That said had Huddersfield took the lead before Crabtree returned it might well have been a different story, but instead Wigan had a great spell of creating back to back drop outs then pounced.

Ball went right and Sam Tomkins sent Charnley over in the corner. Another big Richards touchline conversion made it 14-8.

Like I said, dealing with Crabtree's return was all Wigan had to do now and they did that to perfection. He made zero impact and Wigan just ground the Giants down. A drop goal from Matty Smith on 65 minutes made it 15-8 then four minutes later Blake Green scored a fantastic solo try to wrap up the win. Smith kicking another drop goal on the hooter rubbed salt into the Huddersfield wounds.

Job done for Wigan and from fear last week to feeling great and optimistic now that the double is on. What a difference 80 minutes makes!

Reaction to the Action

Coach Shaun Wane: "I thought it was a great performance. We defended tough and came up with a really good conservative game. I thought we completed the sets that were really important. We still made errors but our completion rate was good in those conditions. We showed in the first half that, when we kept hold of the ball, we could score. We're not getting carried away. It was a good win against worthy league leaders but we've still got two games to play."

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson: "It was the worst performance we've had for a long time. The Giants 2013 is not about one-out rugby. They asked more questions than we did. We took one or two short cuts and didn't show a great deal of honesty at times. We weren't great but that's out of our system so let's move on. You could see Wigan were a bit more battle-hardened. We couldn't win a tackle. They were rolling through us at times. It showed we needed a game. Whether it was the right decision to rest the players last week only time will tell."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Wigan 1
1 Scott Grix Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
5 Jermaine McGillvary


Josh Charnley 2
3 Leroy Cudjoe Centre Anthony Gelling 22
4 Joe Wardle Centre Iain Thornley 17
18 Aaron Murphy Winger Pat Richards 5
6 Danny Brough Stand Off Blake Green 6
7 Luke Robinson Scrum Half Matty Smith 7
8 Eorl Crabtree Prop Lee Mossop 10
9 Shaun Lunt Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
10 Craig Kopczak Prop Andy Powell 38
11 Brett Ferres 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
16 Jason Chan 2nd Row Liam Farrell 12
21 Dale Ferguson L.Forward Ben Flower 15
16 Chris Tuson Substitute Jack Hughes 4
21 Scott Taylor Substitute Gil Dudson 20
23 Logan Tomkins Substitute Scott Taylor 21
26 Dom Crosby Substitute Dom Crosby 26
- Paul Anderson Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

Huddersfield Giants 8 --- Wigan Warriors 22

Tries (1):
Danny Brough


Tries (3:
Josh Charnley 2
Blake Green

Danny Brough 2/2
--- Goals:
Pat Richards 4/4
--- --- Drop Goals:
Matty Smith 2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

03mins:33 Huddersfield 04 Wigan 00 Try: Danny Brough
- Huddersfield 06 Wigan 00 Conversion: Danny Brough (1/1)
23mins:17 Huddersfield 06 Wigan 04 Try: Josh Charnley
- Huddersfield 06 Wigan 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
26mins:13 Huddersfield 06 Wigan 08 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/2)
38mins:38 Huddersfield 08 Wigan 08 Penalty Goal: Danny Brough (2/2)
Half Time Huddersfield Giants 08 Wigan Warriors 08
53mins:11 Huddersfield 08 Wigan 12 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Huddersfield 08 Wigan 14 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
64mins:46 Huddersfield 08 Wigan 15 Drop Goal: Matty Smith
68mins:12 Huddersfield 08 Wigan 19 Try: Blake Green
- Huddersfield 08 Wigan 21 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/4)
80mins:00 Huddersfield 08 Wigan 22 Drop Goal: Matty Smith (2)
Full Time Huddersfield Giants 08 Wigan Warriors 22

Video Highlights


Phil Bentham (Video Referee: Steve Ganson)

Match Attendance




Play Offs - Week 1 Results

Qualifier: Thu 12 Sept Huddersfield Giants 8 Wigan Warriors 22 7,116
Eliminator: Fri 13 Sept Hull FC 14 Catalan Dragons 4 4,970
Qualifier: Sat 14 Sept Warrington Wolves 40 Leeds Rhinos 20 8,695
Eliminator: Sat 14 Sept St Helens 46 Hull Kingston Rovers 10 9,926

Play Offs - Week 2 Results

Thu 19 Sept Huddersfield Giants 76 Hull FC 18 5,547
Fri 20 Sept Leeds Rhinos 11 St Helens 10 12,189