Monday, 22 September 2014

Wonderful Warriors Crush Giants

In a reverse meeting to last season's week one play off between Huddersfield and Wigan, Thursday night saw the Warriors host the Giants in a game where the victor would be just 80 minutes away from the Grand Final.

Wigan looked to have made a perfect start when a Joe Burgess collected a high kick out wide and offloaded to Dan Sarginson but unfortunately the Warriors centre knocked-on with the try line in sight but it served as a warning of things to come as the next Wigan set saw them awarded a penalty in a dangerous position. Matty Smith elected to kick for goal and did so successfully for a 2-0 lead.

The Warriors continued to pressure the Giants defence and forced a goal-line dropout in the 10th minute and the resulting set saw Wigan come just inches from the first try as a kick out wide grazed the fingertips of Joe Burgess before gliding into touch.

Huddersfield responded well to the close call as Brett Ferres looked to have crossed for a try but the decision was dependant on a video review which eventually saw a 'NO TRY' displayed on the big screen after the Giants had knocked-on.

The first try of the evening came in the 23rd minute and began life with a pass from Anthony Gelling finding Josh Charnley out wide with the winger crossing in the corner meaning a tough angle for Matty Smith to attempt to convert from and a decent effort travelled the wrong side of the posts at 6-0.

Wigan extended the lead from the restart as a superb run from Josh Charnley put the Warriors in a great position which resulted in a stellar dash from Matty Smith who crossed for a try under the posts which he duly converted with ease for a 12-0 lead which soon became 18-0 when Tony Clubb battled over the line after a minor slip and Matty Smith duly converted.

Huddersfield were in danger of being out of the game before half-time as Wigan scored again just after the restart as a stunning run from Dan Sarginson saw him pick out Joe Burgess out wide who sprayed a pass inside to Liam Farrell who crossed for a well-worked try and gave a good angle for Matty Smith to convert from for a 24-0 lead.

Wigan's scoring spree looked to continue even further before the interval as the combination of Dan Sarginson and Joe Burgess looked to have broke through the Huddersfield defence again as the latter crossed for a try but after a video review the effort was chalked off leaving the score at 24-0.

Huddersfield needed to score first in the second half to have any chance of a comeback and they did just that with just two minutes on the clock as a high kick found the arms of Leroy Cudjoe who crossed for a try which Jake Connor was unable to convert at 24-4.

However, Wigan responded with a famous try as with his brothers Logan and Sam watching on from the stands, Joel Tomkins crossed for his first try in Cherry and White since his return from Rugby Union and Matty Smith's conversion made it 30-4.

The right side of the Giants defence seemed to be a weakness as Wigan's left wing duo of Dan Sarginson and Joe Burgess exploited the open space with the former crossing for a try which Matty Smith converted well for 36-4.

Wigan breached the 40 point mark in the 54th minute as a clever run and offload from Eddy Pettybourne saw him pick out Joe Burgess who in turn threw a pass to Matt Bowen who crossed for a superb try which allowed Matty Smith to convert successfully for 42-4.

The previous meetings between the sides this season saw Wigan out muscled by Huddersfield but with 58 minutes on the clock, revenge seemed to be a certainty as a superb dash from Josh Charnley saw him power through the Huddersfield defence and cross for a try in the corner which Matty Smith converted from the touchline to a huge applause at 48-4.

The game was over as a contest in the 65th minute when a nice passing set resulted in a try for Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin but a tough conversion attempt for Matty Smith saw him miss at 52-4. The home crowd were in awe in the 72nd minute when a last tackle kick from Huddersfield found the arms of Joe Burgess in goal and the winger dashed the length of the field unchallenged to score an amazing try and despite Matty Smith failing to convert, Wigan continued to celebrate a superb effort from their young winger at 56-4.

As the final minutes ticked down, Matty Smith was announced as a well deserved man of the match and he celebrated the award by putting the gloss on a fine performance with a drop goal in the final minute for a final score of 57-4 which give Wigan a week off and means Huddersfield will have a second chance next weekend.