Giants fans: Their shout after Challenge Cup final defeat
GREAT day, great stadium; shame about the game.
That summed up the fans’ reaction as Huddersfield Giants’ Claret and Gold army poured out of Wembley into the warm North London sunshine.
They’d just seen their heroes humbled 16-25 by Warrington in the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final and were strangely muted.
It had all began so well with the mass exodus down the roadworks-littered M1 into London.
The streets around the stadium, the bars, the cafes, were awash with fans of all rugby league’s clubs.
And there was friendly, noisy banter as huge groups of Warrington and Huddersfield fans spewed out of the tube trains clanking into Wembley Park.
Inside the gleaming new Wembley, Giants fans painted their faces, waved their banners and took photos to remember A Great Occasion.
And then came the match. Nathan Brown’s men, usually so strong in defence, so sharp on attack, looked flat. Perhaps the occasion had got to them?
The fans rallied briefly when first Sean Lunt and then skipper Brett Hodgson crossed for first-half tries, but it was always Warrington who held the upper hand.
It meant glum faces at the end, but there was still a feeling that the club had progressed.
Simon Grant, of Dalton, was there with sons Spencer, 11, and Harry, 8.
"We are gutted, but we have had a great day. Wembley is awesome and the atmosphere was great for much of the time.
"It could have had a happier ending".
Giants "Babes" Yasmin Rejaei, of Beaumont Park, and Olivia Jackson, of Almondbury, both 16, were still smiling after the final hooter.
They’d had their faces painted and dressed in claret and gold and agreed: "What a fantastic day".
Yasmin said: "We’re disappointed that we have lost but it’s been great to come to Wembley and enjoy the day".