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Wigan beat Huddersfield in top of the table clash

Wigan pulled two points clear at the top of Stobart Super League with an emphatic defeat of previous leaders Huddersfield at a soggy Galpharm Stadium.
Wigan beat Huddersfield in top of the table clash
by NRL

Wigan pulled two points clear at the top of Stobart Super League with an emphatic defeat of previous leaders Huddersfield at a soggy Galpharm Stadium.

The Giants had hoped to demonstrate their trophy-winning credentials by completing a double over the Warriors but a defeat by seven tries to two suggests they still have much to do to win over the doubters.

Josh Charnley had an off day with the boot, missing all four kicks at goal, but he scored two first-half tries to take his tally for the season to 18, seven in front of his nearest rival, to ensure Wigan enter the second half of the season in pole position.

Wigan were below strength up front after losing prop forwards Paul Prescott and Epalahame Lauaki to injury but their main men were in sparkling form, with Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai the chief architects of an impressive performance.

Huddersfield, who won 20-16 at the DW Stadium in the opening round back in February, were well in the game at 12-12 early in the second half but the visitors adapted better to wet conditions and finished the stronger side.

The Giants demonstrated their attacking flair from the kick-off, with Scott Grix gathering Danny Brough's chip over the Wigan defence to get centre Leroy Cudjoe haring away but the final pass to Jermaine McGillvary went astray.

Leuluai's superb kicks forced two goal-line drop-outs but the Giants showed why they have the best defence in the league by holding the visitors out and they went in front after 14 minutes.

Luke Robinson's dart from dummy-half caught the Warriors by surprise and Cudjoe's quick pass gave McGillvary the chance to demonstrate clinical finishing at the corner.

Brough had earlier missed a long-range penalty kick at goal but he made amends with a touchline conversion to make it 6-0 and the Yorkshiremen were good value for their lead.

But Wigan gradually came into the game and turned around 12-6 in front after scoring three tries in the second quarter.

Quick hands from Michael McIlorum, Leuluai, Sam Tomkins and Darrell Goulding got Charnley over for his first before Tomkins brushed off Grix's attempted tackle to touch down for his 11th of the campaign.

Huddersfield lost forward David Faiumu following a clash of heads with Wigan prop Jeff Lima but they almost regained the lead when replacement Dale Ferguson charged towards the line only to lose control of the ball as he was about to touch down.

Charnley missed a chance by fumbling Sean O'Loughlin's ankle-high pass four minutes before the interval but quickly made amends by taking Goulding's pass to slide over for his second try.

Charnley was off target with all three conversion attempts and the misses began to look costly when Huddersfield drew level six minutes into the second half.

There seemed nothing on when full-back Greg Eden took Grix's inside pass but he ghosted through the Wigan defence for his side's second try, which Brough goaled.

Eden went from hero to villain in the space of four minutes when he dropped Brett Finch's kick, gifting George Carmont the simplest of tries which put the visitors back in front.

Charnley was once more unable to kick the goal and he handed the task over to Tomkins when substitute Liam Farrell fended off Kevin Brown to score Wigan's fifth try after 53 minutes.

Tomkins duly obliged to put his side 10 points clear and, although winger Anthony Gelling dropped Gareth Hock's pass with the line beckoning, Carmont made no mistake moments later after more good work from Hock.

After Eden had gone close to notching his second try for Huddersfield, Wigan had the final say when prop Jeff Lima forced his way over for his side's seventh, with Tomkins kicking his second goal.




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