11 May 2024

Match Report | Wigan Warriors (H)

Huddersfield Giants were defeated 6-48 on a hugely dissapoiting afternoon at the John Smith's Stadium.

The second half of today’s double header at the John Smith’s Stadium saw Giants hosting Wigan Warriors in the Super League.

Following back to back defeats, the Giants aimed to get back to winning ways against visiting side Warriors, who were fresh off an emphatic win against Catalan Dragons.

The first two minutes were chaotic - as the Warriors saw their number 10 Liam Byrne sin-binned for a high tackle within the first set. 

The Giants appeared to be utilising the extra man advantage well, as they found themselves camped in their opponents’ half. All looked promising until a sudden interception from Liam Marshall brought him his 10th Super League try this season, as he sprinted 80+ yards to the try-line to put the visitors ahead. 

After Smith’s conversion, the Warriors were 6-0 up almost immediately. 

The next opportunity for points was taken by the Warriors, who tallied up another two by way of a successful Smith penalty following an off-the-ball challenge by Tui Lolohea - making the scoreline Giants 0-8 Warriors.

The Warriors made the next few minutes ugly, trying to wear out the Giants after each tackle - much to the Cowbell Army’s dislike.

However, a man they couldn’t tire out was Elliot Wallis, who broke free fantastically within his own half, and after an illusive solo run, touched down under the posts to round off a sensational moment of individual brilliance, and to collect his 4th Super League try this season. The conversion by Connor was good, meaning the score sat at Giants 6-8 Warriors. 

Wigan suffered handling errors in their next set, and, after the turnover, Giants began to pile on more pressure via direct, powerful running.

This felt wasted though, as a marvellous Bevan French ‘dummy’ fooled the Giants defence, and enabled French to glide through for a score in front of the travelling fans, and for his 7th of the campaign so far - undoing the hosts’ good work. The conversion was put wide by Smith, meaning the score stayed at Giants 6-12 Warriors. 

The Giants were probing yet again, gaining good yards, and building momentum. Despite their efforts, their clinical nature was lacking, and chances went missing - they were letting Wigan ‘off the hook’.

Just after the half-hour mark, it was the visitors’ turn to waste a chance, as two plays into a set that began in Giants territory, they knocked on and handed the hosts the ball back. A big sigh of relief for the Giants.

A second major sigh of relief came only a set later for the Giants, after some silky hands from the Warriors cut them open. Luckily for them, Seb Ikahihifo was on hand to pull off a huge try saving interception, limiting the damage and keeping the game still within a score.

The first half drew to a close with the score Giants 6-12 Warriors. A spirited effort from both sides, with many showcases of team, and individual, brilliance. 

The beginning of the second half was unfortunate for the Giants, as a high kick off the first set was spilled - giving the Warriors possession in a fantastic position. 

This was taken advantage of, as the ball was spread wide to Liam Marshall, who chalked up his 2nd try of the afternoon, and 11th of the season, as he bundled over the line in the corner. Smith took his time with the kick, irritating the home fans in the process. The kick was converted, and the scoreline stretched to Giants 6-18 Warriors.

The visitors nearly had another try soon after, as Ethan Harvard burst through a tackle only 5-yards out, however he spilled the ball in what looked sure to be another 4 points for Wigan.

Ill discipline from the Warriors allowed the hosts to ease back into the game. A couple of high tackles in quick succession gave the Giants penalties, and much needed yards.

The Giants then showed their defensive grit, holding firm in the middle of the park before holding up Bevan French on the line - denying the stand-off a 2nd try of the game.

However, French did get his name on the scoresheet for a 2nd time only a few minutes later, after he got on the end of a lucrative Harry Smith run, before dancing around the final tackle. French’s fast feet earned his side, and himself, another 4 points. Smith’s conversion added another 2 points, and the game was beginning to really drift away from the Giants. With a quarter of an hour left, the scoreboard read Giants 6-24 Warriors.

Affairs went from bad to worse immediately, as Marshall secured his hat trick - rounding of a slick team move down the left hand side. Marshall was left with the easy job of placing the ball down, as he touched down his 3rd of the day, and his 12th of the season. 

Smith’s 4th conversion of the game made the score Giants 6-30 Warriors.

The Warriors were relentless. They added yet another score on the board, after a superb offload from Bevan French, who was putting on a masterclass. His moment of magic found the hands of Kruise Leeming, who completed the Warriors’ move. 5/6 conversions for Smith at this stage, and the scoreline read Giants 6-36 Warriors.

Esan Marsters found himself in the sin-bin with less than ten minutes to go, meaning the Giants would end with 12 men. Marsters was penalised for ‘tripping’ Bevan French. 

Wigan didn’t take their foot of the gas, and ran over for their 7th try of the contest - this time via Abbas Miski down the right-hand side, with Warriors making the most of their extra man. This extended their cushion to 6-42. 

Miski managed to grab a second shortly after. A remarkable ankle-tap tackle by Leroy Cudjoe halted Bevan French, who looked sure to be through for his hat trick. But even with this, the Warriors used their momentum and pushed on for an 8th try of the day, comfortably finished by Miski.

As the clock ran down, the full-time whistle was blown.

A bad day at the office for the Giants.

Full-time: Giants 6-48 Warriors.

Giants Team: Connor, Halsall Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis, Lolohea, Clune, Wilson, Milner, English, Rushton, Cudjoe, Yates

Interchanges: Greenwood, Hewitt, Golding, Ikahihifo, Russell

Tries: Wallis

Goals: Connor 1/1

Warriors Team: Field, Misti, Keighran, Wardle, Marshall, French, Smith, Thompson, o’Neill, Byrne, Nsemba, Farrell, Ellis

Interchanges: Harvard, Mago, Lemming, Dupree, Hill

Tries: Marshall x3, French x2, Leeming, Miski x2

Goals: Smith 7/8

Penalty Goal: Smith 1/1

Attendance: 5,334

By James Devine

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