Huddersfield 38-36 Warrington: Giants hold off Wire comeback

·5-min read
Huddersfield v Warrington Credit: PA Images
Huddersfield v Warrington Credit: PA Images

Huddersfield Giants all but confirmed third place after holding off a second half fightback from Warrington at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Warrington had taken the lead with less than a minute on the clock, but then conceded 30 unanswered points before the break.

Two quickfire tries kept the Wire’s hopes alive, but Will Pryce’s try just about put Huddersfield out of sight. Despite late tries from Matt Dufty (2) and George Williams.

Huddersfield made three changes from the side that was beaten at Leeds on Wednesday night. Theo Fages, Oliver Wilson and Chris McQueen all came out of the side. Replacing them was Will Pryce, Josh Jones and Jack Ashworth.

Meanwhile, Warrington made four changes to the side beaten at home to Castleford on Thursday. Greg Minikin, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie and Thomas Mikaele were all not in the side. Coming into the team were Adam Holroyd and Matty Nicholson, while Josh Lynch and Leon Hayes also came in for their debuts.

Match Report

Warrington took the lead after just 30 seconds. Jake Wardle took in a looping pass 20 metres from his own line and broke up the field. Wardle then got the ball to Matt Dufty, who was able to complete the break, going over unopposed. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for a six-point lead.

It took the hosts just six minutes to respond. Adam O’Brien reached out for the line from short range, and was able to get the ball down. Will Pryce converted for a level game.

With just 10 minutes on the clock, Huddersfield got the third try of the afternoon to hit the front for the first time.  This time, Josh Jones took in a pass, and was able to hold off a couple of Warrington defenders to score. Pryce’s conversion attempt drifted across the posts.

Huddersfield would add their third try just four minutes later. Warrington were unable to deal with a high kick, and Tui Lolohea dived onto the ball, and got over the line. Pryce’s conversion attempt went wide this time.

The Giants were now firmly on top, and grabbed a fourth try just past the 20-minute mark. They moved the ball fluently out to the right-hand side, and Leroy Cudjoe was able to get over. Pryce was able to kick the conversion this time.

This soon became two tries in the space of a couple of minutes. Louis Senior got the ball out wide, kicked back inside, and Ricky Leutele got to the ball first to score. Pryce once again could not add the conversion.

However, this wouldn’t matter, as Huddersfield registered their sixth try just past the half-hour. Toby King rose highest from a kick, and got the ball down to score against his parent club. Pryce added his third conversion of the afternoon.

Warrington, who had been second best for much of the first half, managed to grab their second try with their first dangerous attack since going ahead. A George Williams kick bounced up, and fell kindly to Josh Lynch, who marked his debut with a try. Peter Mata’utia took the conversion, but could not get it on target.

But the final word of the half would go to the Giants. Pryce added another two points with the clock winding down, after Warrington gave away a penalty close to the line.

HT- Huddersfield 32-10 Warrington

Just like in the first half, it was Warrington who struck the first blow. This time, it was Wardle’s turn to score a try against his parent club. He managed to get on the end of a delicate kick in behind to score his side’s third try. Leon Hayes, on for Stefan Ratchford at the break, scored the conversion.

The visitors would have felt the comeback was well and truly on, when they managed to score back-to-back tries. George Williams broke clear of the Huddersfield defence, and gave it to the supporting Dufty to score. Hayes added the conversion to reduce the deficit to 10 points.

But with 15 minutes to go, Will Pryce added a seventh Huddersfield try to just about put the game out of reach. He managed to get to Leroy Cudjoe’s pat down and cut inside to score under the posts.  He then converted hos own try, to stretch the lead to 16 points.

Warrington were keen to prove that they were not done, and got a break inside the last 10 minutes. Dufty was able to intercept a pass and race almost the entire length of the pitch to complete his hat-trick. Hayes missed the conversion, meaning they needed two converted tries in the final few minutes to force Golden Point.

They got one of those with the clock winding down. Josh Thewlis intercepted a pass, and raced almost the entire length of the pitch before being stopped short. George Williams then went out of dummy half and got the ball down. Hayes crucially hit the post with the conversion.

The visitors also ensured they would end the gamer having the final say. Dufty got through a gap and scored his fourth try. Hayes added the conversion with the final act of the game.

FT- Huddersfield 38-36 Warrington

Team News

Huddersfield: Lolohea, Cudjoe, King, Leutele, L.Senior, Russell, Pryce, Trout, O’Brien, Hill, Hewitt, Jones, English. Subs: Yates, Greenwood, Ashworth, Levi.

Tries: O’Brien, Jones, Lolohea, Cudjoe, Leutele, King, Pryce

Goals: Pryce 5/8

Warrington: Dufty, Lynch, Mata’utia, Wardle, Thewlis, Ratchford, Williams, Harrison, Walker, Bullock, Holroyd, Nicholson, Holmes. Subs: J.Clark, Mulhern, Thomas, Hayes.

Tries: Dufty (4), Lynch, Wardle, Williams

Goals: Ratchford 1/1, Mata’utia 0/1, Hayes 3/5

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