Huddersfield 32-22 Wigan: Giants defeat youthful Warriors in Challenge Cup dress rehearsal

Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield claimed a 32-22 win over Wigan at the John Smith’s Stadium in the dress rehearsal for this year’s Challenge Cup final.

The two Super League sides will meet again at the end of May for the final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Ian Watson’s side ran in six tries, including a hat-trick from Louis Senior to claim their seventh win of the season.

Match report

Huddersfield rested Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Chris Hill, Josh Jones, Chris McQueen, Luke Yates and Sebastine Ikahihifo from their semi-final winning side.

18-year-old Logan Astley made his Super League debut for the Warriors, named in the halves alongside Harry Smith. Matt Peet’s side had an average age of just 23.

Young forward Matty Nicholson also made his first appearance from the bench.

Huddersfield were first to score just six minutes into the game through winger Senior. A slick move from the scrum allowed the winger to go over in the corner untouched. Oliver Russell converting from wide for a 6-0 lead.

Joe Greenwood was sent to the bin by the official for foul play on 19 minutes. However, Wigan couldn’t capitalise and it was in fact the hosts who scored. Centre Ricky Leutele powered his way over on 27 minutes to extend the lead to 12-0. 

Wigan crossed for their first on 32 minutes. Iain Thornley made the break, who found Bevan French who then found Sam Halsall to cross in front of the Wigan end. Smith converting for a 12-6 score at the break. 

HT: Huddersfield 12-6 Wigan

Senior crossed for a brace just three minutes into the second 40. Tui Lolohea provided the assist with a beautiful pass for the winger to cross with room in the corner for an 18-6 score. 

Watson’s side extended their lead on 53 minutes through Jake Wardle. Russell missing his first of the night for a 22-6 score.

20-year-old Halsall crossed for his second with 18 minutes remaining to give the travelling Wigan fans hope of a comeback.

On debut, Nicholson crossed just two minutes later for the Warriors. Huddersfield let a Smith high kick bounce, in which Abbas Miski collected and he found the youngster in support.

It was late drama as Sam Hewitt claimed a try on 72 minutes, just before Nicholson scored his second to leave a four-point gap with five minutes to go.

However, the hosts held on despite the comeback threat. Senior secured his hat-trick with seconds to go for a 32-22 victory.

FT: Huddersfield 32-22 Wigan

Huddersfield: Lolohea, L.Senior, Wardle, Leutele, Golding, Russell, Fages, Greenwood, O’Brien, Wilson, Hewitt, Ashworth, English.

Bench: Levi, Lawrence, Mason, Trout

Tries: Senior (3), Leutele, Wardle, Hewitt

Goals: Russell 4/6

Wigan: French, Halsall, Thornley, Jake Bibby, Miski, Astley, Smith, Singleton, O’Neill, Ellis, Isa, McDonnell, Partington.

Bench: Mago, Havard, Shorrocks, Nicholson.

Tries: Halsall (2), Nicholson (2)

Goals: Smith 3/4

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About Josh McAllister 1337 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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