Two sides looking to make amends after losses last weekend came together for a Saturday afternoon clash as fourth placed Huddersfield Giants took on a Warrington Wolves side who were defying the early season optimism and lying in in a most Warrington-unlike third from bottom. A Giants win would lift them up to third spot, at least for a few hours, but while a win for the visitors would help alleviate their relegation worries it would not improve their league position.
The bookies were erring on the side of a Giants win, having given the Wolves a six-point start on the coupon, but they were far from convinced that this would be a bad afternoon for the Cheshire side and while it might not be their year in 2022, this might be their week.
It was a great start for the Wolves with new signing Matt Dufty the provider as he put a long ball to Jake Wardle in go in on the overlap. Stefan Ratchford was accurate with the boot for a 6-0 lead after six minutes.
Stefan Ratchford added another two points after being awarded a penalty for offside two minutes later, the Wolves taking the points whenever they were on offer.
Joe Greenwood, on the field from the bench on twenty-three, was the impetus for the Giants opening try as he found Ash Golding in an ocean of space to cross in the corner following a Theo Fages kick to the corner. Olly Russell hit the post with the conversion attempt, the home side still four behind.
Another penalty from the boot of Ratchford on thirty extended the lead to six points and when Chris McQueen ripped the ball out in the tackle the ball was handed to Ratchford who obliged again. Warrington doing it in two´s.
Adam O´Brien scooted from acting half back for a simple try after Warrington conceded a penalty close to their own line. Russell added the conversion, and the margin was back to two points as the game approached half-time.
Four minutes after the restart Matty Ashton picked up a spilled Giants pass and raced fifty metres to score under the sticks, Ratchford adding a simple conversion for 18-10. But on forty-nine Josh Jones replied for the Giants and despite Russell missing the conversion the margin was back to just four points.
Ashton was in again after a kick wasn´t dealt with by the Giants but Ratchford failed to convert, the lead eight points.
The Wolves were down to twelve on fifty-five when Joe Bullock obstructed close to his own line.
The extra man counted for the Giants on sixty when Innes Senior went over in the corner and when Russell converted in off the post to again reduce the margin to two points.
The Giants hit the front on sixty-four when Will Pryce stepped off both feet to wrongfoot the defenders and go over. Russell was accurate with the boot, twelve points shipped in while they were a man down.
The lead was extended on seventy-five by the home side when Owen Trout blasted his way through an increasingly forlorn looking Warrington defence for the sixth Huddersfield try. Russell added the conversion for 32-22.
After looking the best side in the opening fifty minutes the turning point was the sin-binning of Bullock. The Giants punished the twelve men with a couple of tries to give them the lead for the first time and despite returning to a full complement the Wolves couldn´t claw their way back into the game. The Giants up to third spot, the Wolves still languishing in the bottom three and lucky that both sides behind them also lost this weekend.
Huddersfield Giants: Pryce (T), Senior I (T), King, Jones (T), Golding (T), Russell (4G), Fages, Trout (T), O´Brien (T), Wilson, Hewitt, McQueen, Yates. Subs: English, Ashworth, Greenwood, Levi.
Warrington Wolves: Dufty, Minikin, Wrench, Wardle (T), Ashton (2T), Mata´utia, Ratchford (5G), Amor, Clark D, Mulhern, Currie, Nicholson, Clark J. Subs: Holmes, Bullock (SB on 55), Mikaele, Harrison.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 4-10, 4-12, 8-12, 10-12 : HT : 10-16, 10-18, 14-18, 14-22, (SB), 18-22, 20-22, 24-22, 26-22, 30-22, 32-22: FT.
Lead Exchanges: Warrington - Huddersfield.
Referee: Tom Grant.