Monday, 10 February 2014

Wigan Fall to Giants Defeat

Wigan and Huddersfield opened the Super League XVIV season on Friday, a week earlier that the rest of the league due to Wigan's participation in the World Club Challenge in Australia but will travel with a defeat on their mind.

Wigan gave Super League debuts to Matt Bowen and Eddy Pettybourne while Tony Clubb and Dan Sarginson made their competitive debuts for Wigan after their move from London but Wigan's preparation was dealt a late blow with captain Sean O'Loughlin withdrawing with a late injury meaning Pettybourne started with Dudson replacing him on the bench.

Huddersfield handed debuts to Chris Bailey and Antonion Kaufusi as they looked for a sixth win in seven at the DW a got some early luck as they went over for an opening try after four minutes after Murphy picked out Ferres with a well-worked grubber kick but the result saw Silverwood go to the screen and in a strange new feature for Sky Sports, the crowd were able to view the decision by video referee Ganson which was a successful try for the Giants but Brough missed the conversion meaning a slim lead at 0-4.

A flurry of penalties seemed to disrupt the flow of the game in a five minute period that saw Wigan close to levelling the score as Burgess got to the 5m line only to be denied by a strong Hudds defence which was costly for Wigan as minutes later, Huddersfield extended their lead as Lunt kicked through for McGillvary to score but again the decision was handed to the screen and Ganson awarded the try but surprisingly Brough missed again as the score stood at 0-8.

Another run of penalties resulted in Wigan being forced into a goal-line dropout which led to Cudjoe picking out McGillvary who went in for his second try and to the shock of the Giants fans, Brough missed for a third time meaning Wigan were only two converted tries from levelling at 0-12.

The game came to a halt with 53 seconds of the first half remaining as Patrick went down injured after falling awkwardly in a tackle and after a five minute delay he was stretchered off to a round of applause from the whole stadium and in the final seconds, Brough attempted a drop goal which mirrored all of his previous kicking attempts as it missed and he ended the half at 0/4.

Two minutes into the second half and Huddersfield had a glorious chance to put Wigan further behind after a stellar run from Wardle allowed him to pick out a pass to Brough but the reigning Man of Steel fumbled to continue what was becoming a bad night for him and the resulting turnover to Wigan saw them force Hudds into a goal-line dropout which after nice piece of play saw Thornley go over for a try in the corner but Smith's missed conversion meant they were still eight behind at 4-12.

They could have made an instant mistake when Farrell flapped at the ball from the restart but Wigan managed to collect it and attack the Hudds line but sadly with no positive result but within minutes had their work rewarded as Bowen performed a superb dummy before passing out wide to Burgess who went in for a nicely worked try but a missed conversion from Smith meant a fifth successive miss on the night and put the score at 8-12.

Wigan's joy was short lived as McGillvary completed his hat-trick after a pass from Ta'ai and this time Brough was successful from the conversion and put Huddersfield clear at 8-18 but the score could have been narrowed when Thornley found space down the left only to be then tackled into touch.

Their night got worse when Bowen was put on report by Silverwood after a late challenge on Grix to the slight dismay of some of the crowd who had chanted 'off,off, off' but he still may receive a ban in the coming week.

The final score of the night saw a game clinching try from Grix after a pacey run from Brough and his successful conversion made it an unassailable 8-24 as Huddersfield secured the first points of the season in front of a good crowd of just over 16,000 leaving Wigan with a lot to think about as they head out to Auckland to face the New Zealand Warriors on Wednesday.

The preview will hopefully be available before Tuesday pending squad selection for both sides.