Warrington 20-26 Huddersfield: Giants hold off Wolves fightback

Huddersfield proved to be party poopers as they held on for a thrilling 26-20 Betfred Super League victory over Warrington as supporters returned to the Halliwell Jones stadium.

A crowd of 4,000 were in attendance for the first time in over 12 months but they were left disappointed as their side just failed to overturn a 20-0 half-time deficit as the Giants claimed only their second win of the season.

Lee Gaskell claimed two tries for the victors with Jermaine McGillvary and Kenny Edwards also touching down, while Aidan Sezer landed three conversions and two penalties as they claimed their first win at Warrington in six years.

It all seemed to be plain sailing for Huddersfield as they led 20-0 at the break but they had to withstand a spirited second-half comeback from the Wolves to claim the win.

Warrington staged a mini revival at the start of the second half with tries by Greg Inglis, Daryl Clark and Josh Thewlis and Gareth Widdop kicking two conversions to reduce the deficit to two points at 20-18.

But a try 13 minutes from time by Edwards settled the Huddersfield nerves and Sezer kicked a late penalty to edge the Giants home.

Stefan Ratchford returned to the Warrington side following his late withdrawal from the cup tie against Catalans and – with skipper Jack Hughes suspended – Mike Cooper was given the captain’s armband to lead his hometown club.

Huddersfield made just one change from the side that were defeated by St Helens in the Challenge Cup with Jake Wardle coming into the side at centre in place of Sam Wood.

The Giants certainly gave an early indication of their intentions with two tries from Gaskell in the opening 11 minutes of the game to shock their hosts.

A superb break by Ricky Leutele was carried on by Darnell McIntosh whose speculative pass was scooped up by Gaskell to score and the Giants full-back repeated the act eight minutes later when he scythed through the Wolves defence for a fine solo try.

Sezer was on target with both conversions to give the visitors a perfect start at 12-0.

And it got better for Ian Watson’s side six minutes before half-time when more enterprising play from the visitors ended with McGillvary touching down in the corner.

Sezer maintained his 100% record with the boot with a fine touchline conversion and then booted over a penalty in the last minute of the half to stretch his side’s lead.

The home side needed some inspiration and finally troubled the scoreboard just three minutes after the restart when Inglis managed to squeeze the ball down – before he was forced to limp from the field due to injury – and Widdop converted.

It gave the Wolves the boost they needed when Clark scooted over from dummy half and then Thewlis went over and, with Widdop on target with two further goals, they had clawed they way back into the contest at 20-18.

But an Edwards try 13 minutes from time settled the wobbling Giants and Sezer’s late penalty saw them home to victory despite Warrington’s last-gasp bid to send the game into extra-time.

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