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A win by thirty-eight points or more would move the Wigan Warriors into top spot in the table with a game in hand, all that stood in their way at the John Smith’s Stadium was a Huddersfield Giants side who had still not managed to fire on all cylinders and were bubbling just outside the play-off places.

Wigan were the favourites with the bookies to repeat their victory from early March when they beat the Giants by 30-16 at the DW Stadium, but there was little to choose between the sides with just a four-point start for the home side on the coupon.

It was a cracking afternoon for a fast and open game in the early summer sunshine, twenty-minute water breaks agreed between the sides.

The first challenge of the game saw Liam Byrne sin-binned for a high tackle but it counted for little as Wigan turned defence into attack with Liam Marshall taking a pass back from a high Giants kick five from his own line and sprinting ninety-five metres to cross for the opening points of the game. Harry Smith added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

On seven when Tui Lolohea took Adam Keighran out as he chased a kick, Wigan pointed to the sticks and Smith kicked the two points to extend the lead.

On thirteen the Giants found their feet and opened their account with Elliot Wallis weaving his way through the Warriors defence with a sensational forty metre solo effort, dotting down under the sticks to give Jake Connor a simple conversion for 6-8.

A momentary lapse of concentration from Leroy Cudjoe allowed Bevan French to bust the Giants line and sprint over from twenty metres for the second Wigan try of the afternoon. Smith was wide of the mark, his first miss of the game, the difference just one converted try.

A beautiful miss-out pass from Jai Field found Marshall to go over on the overlap down the left-hand side to ground for his second of the game. Smith added the conversion for 18-6, the game edging away from the Giants.

Bevan French lost control of the ball as he stretched to ground on fifty-two under the tackle of Lolohea.

With an hour on the clock French made amends as he weaved through the Giants defence after taking a Jai Field pass, the Wigan stand-off grounding behind the sticks. Smith added the conversion for 24-6, Wigan taking the points back over the Pennines. Smith made no mistakes with the conversion for a three converted try lead.

Returning the kick off the Warriors were in again, and once again it was Marshall who completed his hat-trick as he exploited a bit overlap down the left wing, rounding closer to the sticks and giving Smith a simple conversion for 30-6. It was now all one-way traffic.

A back-door pass from French, after Wigan kept the ball alive on the first tackle, found Kruise Leeming to step off the right foot and go in under the sticks. Smith added the conversion for 36-6, it was starting to get embarrassing for the Giants.

A trip from Esan Marsters saw him sin-binned on seventy-two, the Giants down to twelve men for the remainder of the game. Two minutes later Abbas Miski took a bullet pass to score in the right corner for the seventh Wigan try of the afternoon in a comprehensive win. Smith added the conversion, Wigan now just two game points away from going top of the table.

Two minutes from time Miski got his second of the afternoon with a walkover try to rack up the points which Wigan needed to go past St Helens on the league table. Smith added the conversion for a massive 48-6 win to send the Cherry and White faithful home with cheer in their hearts.

Despite an evenly matched first half, the second was all one-way traffic as the Wigan Warriors set about amassing a big point total and humiliating the Giants in condemning them to another home loss. The Giants had no answer to the likes of French and Field and once the ball was put into the hands of the backs the Giants defence struggled to get anywhere near them. A second forty rugby masterclass from Wigan saw them to the top of the table.

Huddersfield Giants: Connor (1/1 G), Halsall, Marsters (SB on 72), Naiqama, Wallis (T), Lolohea, Clune, Wilson, Milner, English, Cudjoe, Rushton, Yates.  Subs: Golding, Greenwood, Hewitt, Ikahihifo. 18th Man: Russell.

Wigan Warriors: Field, Miski (2T), Keighran, Wardle, Marshall (3T), French (2T), Smith (8/9 G), Thompson, O’Neill, Byrne (SB on 1), Nsemba, Farrell, Ellis. Subs: Havard, Mago, Leeming (T), Dupree. 18th Man: Hill. 

Half-Time: 6-12.

Full-Time: 6-48.

Score Progression: (SB), 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 6-8, 6-12 : HT: 6-16, 6-18, 6-22, 6-24, 6-28, 6-30, 6-34, 6-36, (SB), 6-40, 6-42, 6-46, 6-48 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Wigan.

Referee: Aaron Moore.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th May 2024 4:51 PM | Views : 2040 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES