Huddersfield Giants 32-22 Warrington Wolves: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

There seems to be a recurring theme in Warrington games at the moment, the Wolves will be leading late in the second half but slip to defeat.

The same happened today as Huddersfield got back on track helped along by a yellow card in the 55th minute to Joe Bullock.


Dufty announces himself with lovely assist
After causing havoc a few tackles prior with a fend and step down the right, Matt Dufty popped up on the left hand side received the ball from stand in stand-off Peter Mata’utia before producing a peach of a ball himself. His face ball opened the usually steadfast Giants defence like the red sea as Jake Wardle – on loan at Warrington from Huddersfield – crashed onto the ball to score.

Valiant Warrington defence denies Giants
After some stern Huddersfield defence had made Warrington wait for their opener which eventually came from Jake Wardle, Warrington replicated it with some outstanding defence of their own to hold out repeat sets of six on their own line. Will Pryce looked destined for a try after a lovely Theo Fages pass put him into space allowing Pryce to jink and weave through. His line was at his mercy until Kyle Amor brought him down illegally. The argument could be made that either a card or penalty try should’ve come but only the penalty was deemed sufficient by referee Tom Grant. Shortly after that, a rampage from Chris McQueen was halted short as the backrow coughed up possession.

Mayhem results in Giants opener
After Matt Dufty had shown great defensive ability to drag down the onrushing Joe Greenwood, it looked like Warrington had done enough to stop the Giants. But after a bit of mayhem as a Fages grubber kick cannoned back, eventually the ball moved out wide to Ash Golding who scampered in.

Adam O’Brien poaches one on his return
On his return from injury, Adam O’Brien got Huddersfield well and truly back into the swing of things after two penalties in a stop start affair had put Warrington 12-4 up. In typical fashion, O’Brien darted from dummyhalf burrowing over for the try.

Ashton intercept at the start of second half
As the second half began, things were nicely poised after O’Brien’s try just before the break. The two teams had been going set for set with Will Pryce stepping up nicely against some high kicks. Growing in confidence, Pryce looked to throw a pass wide and release Josh Jones but it was taken instead by Matty Ashton who had a clear run to the line to reinstate Warrington’s eight point lead.

Another manic moment gets Huddersfield back into game
As with their opening try, another little bit of mayhem down the right hand side on the back of a kick resulted in Huddersfield’s third to get them back in the game. This time it was Josh Jones who benefited.

Dufty break paves the way for Ashton’s second
A mesmeric burst down field from Matty Dufty as he went round five defenders to burst down the left wing turned the game back the way of the Wolves. A few tackles later, the Wire capitalised as Ashton dived in for his second in the corner.

Bullock binned
In a moment of controversy, just minutes after Warrington could’ve claimed a similar penalty, the Giants were handed a man advantage when Joe Bullock was adjudged to have taken the Huddersfield kick chasers out as a try beckoned.

Senior gets Huddersfield within touching distance
After some valiant defence from Warrington with a man down, eventually on the last tackle of a fourth consecutive set Theo Fages’ long ball created just enough space for Innes Senior to go over for a vital try which got Huddersfield back within touching distance of the Wolves.

Talking Points:

Huddersfield unable to maintain momentum
It would be a gross over simplification to suggest that Huddersfield played poorly today. There were plenty of spells within the contest in which the Giants underlined what has made them so good especially down the middle. But every time they built some momentum shortly after they’d concede a penalty opening the door again for Warrington which resulted in a see-saw of a contest.

Warrington middles stand up tall
Though Huddersfield typically looked good down the middle with Luke Yates standing out as per usual, Warrington’s forwards deserve praise as well. They competed with the Giants down the middle which is easier said than done. Thomas Mikaele had his best game in a Wolves shirt.

Giants missing Tui Lolohea
Since Tui Lolohea has been injured and it’s clear that the Giants miss his ingenuity and creativity. This isn’t a criticism of those who were playing in the spine. Will Pryce, Olly Russell and Theo Fages are all exceptional players but Lolohea has become an integral cog in the Giants attack this year and without him things aren’t as sharp as usual. Ian Watson will be hoping to have him back soon not only because of his own quality but also due to the fact he brings the best out of those around him like the aforementioned Pryce. Yes, the Giants scored 32 points today, but a huge chunk of those came when Warrington were down a man whilst two came from moments of mayhem.

Matt Dufty well suited to Super League
On first look, Matt Dufty looks very at home in Super League. His explosivity – which comes from a unique blend of strength and speed – makes him a constant threat on organised plays as well as unstructured moves. His skill led to the opening try as he hit a peach of a pass before he showed his defensive prowess in denying Joe Greenwood a try in the first half.

Pryce darts over
It’d been a tough game for Will Pryce. The fullback kicked two restarts out on the full and threw an intercept but he gave the Giants the lead for the first time after he weaved his way through scrambling Warrington defenders attempting to make up for their man disadvantage.

Huddersfield find a way
The sign of a good team is the ability to find a way when the going is tough which is exactly what Huddersfield did today. Missing key players and on the back of two disappointing defeats, the Giants still got the win today building momentum and character as the season draws to a close.

Player Ratings:

Huddersfield Giants
1 Will Pryce – 7
5 Ash Golding – 8
11 Josh Jones – 7
37 Toby King – 7
25 Innes Senior – 7
23 Olly Russell – 8
7 Theo Fages – 7
20 Oliver Wilson – 7
19 Adam O’Brien – 8
17 Owen Trout – 8
29 Sam Hewitt – 7
12 Chris McQueen – 7
13 Luke Yates – 8
14 Matty English – 7
15 Joe Greenwood – 7
26 Jack Ashworth – 7
9 Danny Levi – 7

Warrington Wolves
36 Matt Dufty – 8
21 Greg Minikin – 6
23 Connor Wrench – 6
34 Jake Wardle – 7
5 Matty Ashton – 8
3 Peter Mata’utia – 7
1 Stefan Ratchford – 7
32 Kyle Amor – 6
9 Daryl Clark – 7
19 Rob Mulhern – 7
11 Ben Currie – 6
35 Matty Nicholson – 6
14 Jason Clark – 6
12 Oliver Holmes – 6
15 Joe Bullock – 6
20 James Harrison – 7
33 Thomas Mikaele – 8

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