Huddersfield 28-18 Warrington

Danny Brough scored two brilliant tries as Huddersfield opened the Super League season with a 28-18 victory over Warrington.

Nathan Brown’s men set their marker out for the season with an impressive display while Warrington were left counting the cost of a defeat in which they suffered no fewer than four injuries.

The diminuative scrum-half snaffled the ball close to his own line and ran the full length of the pitch for an interception try to give the Giants the lead for the first time at 8-6, a lead they were never to relinquish, and Brough made sure of the points late on, weaving his way through the Wolves defence before leaping under the posts.

Warrington had started well, with their midfield trio of Lee Briers, Michael Monaghan and Richie Myler linking up to provide a try for debutant Joel Monaghan in the corner, which former Huddersfield full-back Brett Hodgson converted from the touch-line.

But that early score failed to settle the out of sorts Wolves, and a loose pass in his own end by Hodgson set up excellent field position for Huddersfield, and Keal Carlile went over as Matt King failed to retrieve a grubber kick, and the young hooker took full advantage.

Played under the roof at the Millennium Stadium, both teams were coughing up the ball on a regular basis and it was a knock-on that denied the Giants a second try, when video referee Thierry Alibert ruled that Lee Gilmour had tipped the ball forward in a move that had resulted in winger David Hodgson crossing the try line.

In a rare moment of excitement in a slow first half, Brough pounced on a loose ball near to his own line and galloped away to get his account for Super League 16 underway, and he added a penalty shortly before half-time to give them a 10-6 advantage.

By half time, the Wolves found themselves down to just 14 fit players. Simon Grix was led from the field of the play early on, and he was followed to the sidelines by Mike Cooper, before a nasty looking knee injury to Matt King, which led to the game being held up for a lengthy period.

Huddersfield sought to take advantage, and after Shaun Lunt was held up over the line, they took their opportunity as Darrell Griffin burst over from close range.

However, despite their authority, Huddersfield failed to settle the game down and Warrington twice went close through Hodgson and Monaghan, before Chris Bridge knocked on with the try line in sight after a break and smart offload from David Solomona.

The Giants finally gave themselves a little more breathing space when Shaun Lunt stretched over from dummy half, and despite Ben Westwood giving the Wolves same faint hope at 22-12, a moment of magic from Brough put the game to bed.

David Faiumu‘s smart offload was moved on quickly by the impressive Carlile to Brough, who weaved through a ruck of defenders in midfield before racing towards the line.

And the Wolves’ misery was compounded when key man Briers was taken off with concussion.

Darrell Griffin and Michael Monaghan were then sent to the sin bin after frustrations boiled over on the pitch, and it was Warrington who had the final say, with Ryan Atkins being fed in the corner after the Wolves forced the overlap.

But there was no denying Huddersfield victory, in what was a solid opening day showing for a side likely to challenge the top four.

Huddersfield: Grix, Hodgson, Cudjoe, Lawrence, McGillvary, Brown, Brough, Crabtree, Carlile, Mason, Gilmour, Fa’alogo, O’Donnell. Subs: Lunt, Griffin, Horne, Faiumu.

Tries: Karlile 9, Brough 30, 71, Griffin 46, Lunt 66.
Goals: Brough 34, 46, 66, 71.

Warrington: Hodgson, Monaghan, Atkins, Bridge, King, Briers, Myler, Morley, Monaghan, Harrison, Westwood, Anderson, Grix. Subs: Wood, Higham, Solomona, Cooper.

Tries: Monaghan 5, Westwood 69, Atkins 77.
Goals: Hodgson 5, 69, 77.

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