Wakefield Wildcats 13 - Huddersfield Giants 10: Examiner match report

HAD Huddersfield moved to the top of the Super League XVI table after this game at Wakefield it would have been through luck rather than management.

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HAD Huddersfield moved to the top of the Super League XVI table after this game at Wakefield it would have been through luck rather than management.

With Warrington suffering a shock home defeat to Salford, a win for the Giants would have taken them back to the summit.

And in the closing stages, the visitors had several chances to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

But would it have been a victory that would have been richly deserved?

You must be joking, it would have been daylight robbery!

This was another classic example of the Giants getting exactly what they deserved from a contest – nothing!

Their first-half performance was just like the weather – atrocious.

And although they did improve after the interval to score two tries to their hosts zero, they were still unable to produce a display befitting a side that could have moved two points clear at the top.

In comparison, Wakefield played as if their lives depended on it, making sure they kept it simple, while at the same time demonstrating a hunger and desire that their esteemed victors failed to match.

As a result, a final scoreline of 13-10 hardly did justice to the way the Wildcats played.

This was a win that even the most ardent Giants supporter couldn’t deny their West Yorkshire rivals deserved.

But with Danny Brough, Scott Grix and Darrell Griffin all injured and David Faiumu and David Fa’alogo rested after helping the Exiles beat England in the Origin clash on Friday, the Giants were always going to be up against it.

But that, and the slippery wet conditions due to the continuous rain, still couldn’t excuse the standard of performance Huddersfield produced.

In a nutshell, their first-half display was completely inept.

Every time the visitors got themselves into a promising position, they kept on spilling the ball.

And their discipline also left a great deal to be desired.

All in all it was a 40 minutes to forget, and so reminiscent of the horror show at Crusaders on Good Friday when the Giants simply didn’t turn up.

It took just three minutes to suggest this was going to be an uphill struggle as they ‘gifted’ their eager hosts the simplest of scores.

With the play inside the Giants’ 20, the ball came loose as they attempted to break clear and former Huddersfield Academy winger Luke George took full advantage to pick up the pieces to race over.

Gareth Moore added the touchline conversion, and the Wildcats had the dream start.

But any suggestions this was simply an early blip for the in-form Giants was quickly dismissed as error followed error.

As a result, Wakefield were able to play within something of a comfort zone and took full advantage.

Yet all they had to show for their efforts were two straightforward Moore penalties to ease his side further ahead.

And, to be honest, the Giants were grateful to be trailing by just 10 points at the break.They were still well in the contest.

On top of that, a strong 40-metre break by Joe Wardle from inside his own half on the stroke of half-time did suggest Huddersfield were still prepared to fight.

A 50th-minute Moore penalty seemed to knock that theory on the head.

But five minutes later, the visitors were at last given a glimmer of hope.

Having forced a rare repeat set on the Wildcats line, the ball was eventually worked to Shaun Lunt who plunged over from close range.

Leroy Cudjoe’s conversion made it 12-6, and the Giants were, remarkably, only one score behind.

That, however, failed to make any noticeable difference, and with 17 minutes remaining Moore cleverly banged over a drop goal to make the lead two scores once again.

Ten minutes later that lead was back down to one.

A Kevin Brown kick-ahead was toe-poked forward by Jermaine McGillvary for Wardle to win the race to the line.

Cudjoe was unable to convert, but with a three-point gap the pressure was on.

David Hodgson was unfortunate to be called back after racing clear after receiving what referee Thierry Alibert ruled a forward pass, while Brown twice came agonisingly close to collecting kick-throughs in potentially tryscoring positions.

But after a performance like this, for one of those chances to have stuck would have been something of an injustice.

The Giants really would have used their get-out-of-jail card big time!

 

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Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
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Health Correspondent
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Local Government Correspondent
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Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
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Martin Shaw
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