Huddersfield claim first win of the season at Wigan – talking points & ratings

Huddersfield beat Wigan 14-6 to claim their first win of the 2019 campaign.   

The Giants still remain bottom of the table on two points, while the Warriors, who have suffered four defeats in a row, sit just above them on four points.

Adrian Lam made five changes to his Wigan side that lost to London last week. Ben Flower, Chris Hankinson, Gabe Hamlin, Dom Manfredi and Liam Marshall came in for Romain Navarrete, Dan Sarginson, Ollie Partington, Jarrod Sammut and Tom Davies.

Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford made five changes to his outfit that lost to Hull FC last time out. Scott Grix, Olly Russell, Matty English, Colton Roche and Adam Walne were replaced by Akuila Uate, Joe Wardle, Lee Gaskell, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Oliver Roberts.

The Giants led 6-0 at half-time thanks to an early try from Kruise Leeming.

Wigan were dealt two injury blows in the first half as wingers Manfredi and Marshall left the field with injuries and didn’t return.

Morgan Escare drew Wigan level near the hour mark, before Warriors forward Taulima Tautai was sent to the sin bin for kicking out in the tackle.

Gaskell added a penalty goal following Tautai’s yellow card, before Joe Wardle sealed the 14-6 win for the Giants with just 15 minutes left.

Three talking points

Leeming was top class for Huddersfield

The England Knights international was absolutely outstanding for Huddersfield. He ran the show and most attacking plays came through Leeming.

He stood up well in defence, too. Wigan’s forwards targeted him quite a few times, but he didn’t back down and put in a good showing of himself.

Leeming has got finesse about him going forward and is in for a big 2019. The hard work of Aaron Murphy and Joe Wardle shouldn’t go unnoticed, too.

McGillvary proves a huge boost for the Giants

The winger also had an impressive game for Huddersfield. He proved exactly why he is a current England international with his solid performance.

McGillvary’s carries out of yardage were strong and powerful and drove Wigan back on a number of occasions. He took in a lot of drives too, which would have no doubt put a smile on the faces of Huddersfield’s forward pack.

The Giants’ fan-favourite has struggled a little bit with injuries in recent years but if he can stay fit this year, Huddersfield will be a much better side. The Giants look less powerful when he isn’t playing but he also boasts a fine try scoring prowess, so it’s vital he stays fit.

Wigan just not clicking

The Warriors are lacking in confidence, it seems. Lam’s side became easily frustrated when things weren’t going their way in the game, which is unlike a general Wigan side.

Although it can be seen as a positive in only conceding two tries, Huddersfield should have been further ahead than they were at half-time.

Wigan barely created anything in attack and were toothless whenever they got near the Huddersfield line. With just two wins from six games in 2019, Wigan need to quickly improve.

Line-ups and ratings 

Wigan: Hardaker (7); Manfredi (5), Hankinson (4), Gildart (4), Marshall (4); Williams (5), Leuluai (4); Clubb (5), Powell (4), Flower (5), Isa (4), Paisley (5), O’Loughlin (5). Subs: Bullock (5), Tautai (6), Hamlin (6), Escare (4).

Tries: Escare Goals: Hardaker 1/1

Huddersfield: McIntosh (7); McGillvary (8), Turner (7), Jake Wardle (6), Uate (6); Gaskell (7), Frawley (7); Ikahihifo (6), Leeming (9), Ta’ai (7), Joe Wardle (7), Mellor (6), Murphy (8). Subs: O’Brien (7), Roberts (7), Matagi (7), Lawrence (7).

Tries: Leeming, Wardle Goals: Gaskell 3/3

Attendance: 10,114

Drew’s views

Why on earth was this the televised game on Sky Sports? It was pretty clear to see from a whistle being blown that all eyes were on the Hull-Leeds game.

As for the Wigan-Huddersfield match, it was not one to remember. The game seemed to last a lifetime.

Huddersfield were well-deserved winners, while Wigan were really poor with the ball in hand.

Elsewhere in Super League

Hull FC eased past Leeds Rhinos 34-10 at the KCOM Stadium.

Ratu Naulago, Masi Matongo, Marc Sneyd, Jamie Shaul, Albert Kelly and Dean Hadley all scored for the Black and Whites.

St Helens made it five wins from five matches with a comfortable 26-0 victory over London Broncos at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Dom Peyroux, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Lachlan Coote and Kevin Naiqama all crossed the whitewash for Saints.

About Drew Darbyshire 8034 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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