Wigan 8-22 Huddersfield

Huddersfield continued their impressive start to Super League XIV on Friday night, claiming a plucky 22-8 win over Wigan at the JJB Stadium.nnWigan’s poor form against Yorkshire sides continues, as Huddersfield become the fourth side from across the Pennines this season to take two points from Brian Noble’s side, picking up their fifth win from seven this campaign and jumping up to third in the table.nnThe game got underway after a minutes’ silence was held in respect for the tragic death of Wakefield’s Leon Walker during a reserve team match at Celtic Crusaders last Sunday.nnThe visitors took a 2-0 lead after ten minutes, Brett Hodgson capitalising on Wigan indiscipline with a penalty in front of the sticks.nnThe home crowd thought second rower Gareth Hock had touched down two minutes later, but his outstretched arm just lost control of the ball at the vital moment.nnThe home side soon hit the front, though, and on 17 minutes quick passing and movement opened up space on the right wing, with Phil Bailey finishing off the move. Full back Pat Richards narrowly missed with the conversion, giving his side a narrow 4-2 lead.nnThe lead lasted barely a minute, with Brett Hodgson tying the scores up with another penalty, this time given for a high tackle in the build-up.nnThe game then became littered with handling errors, as the two sides swapped a handful of knock-ons in quick succession.nnAfter a fairly sterile spell and on the end of a controversial goal-line drop-out, hooker Scott Moore bulldozed through a gap in the Wigan defence for the first try of the match. Hodgson added the extras to open up a 10-4 advantage.nnReferee Phil Bentham got the crowd well and truly on his back with two shocking decisions just before half-time. Firstly, scrum half Luke Robinson somehow managed to avoid the sin bin for a blatant obstruction on young winger Shaun Ainscough on the end of a Thomas Leuluai grubber kick, before Leuluai was taken out after a high kick. Again, though, the offence was overlooked by referee Bentham to incite the home fans further, made worse by their side trailing 10-4 at the break.nnThe second half finally sparked into life eight minutes in when the fiery Robinson was shown yellow for dissent on 49 minutes. A Kevin Brown grubber kick went dead. This time Bentham showed no hesitation in showing the card after Robinson childishly booted the ball away.nnHuddersfield weathered the storm and managed to hold tight with a man down, although Robinson’s return was greeted almost instantly by a mass brawl with each side being reduced to 12 men. From seemingly nothing, second rower Harrison Hansen and prop forward Keith Mason traded several punches, prompting other players to get involved. Mason and Hansen were sent to the sin bin.nnWigan were the team to exploit the extra space first, and a superb flowing move was finished off emphatically by returning winger Amos Roberts. Richards’ conversion attempt again sailed just wide of the sticks, keeping the home side two points behind.nnWith the clock ticking down and Wigan increasingly desperate to overturn the scoreline, centre Michael Lawrence took full advantage of Wigan’s inability to deal with Robinson’s chip to the corner. Hodgson’s pinpoint touchline conversion removed any doubt, giving Nathan Brown’s outfit a crucial eight-point cushion.nnJust to further rub it into the home crowd, former Wigan stand-off Kevin Brown touched down after yet another defensive cock-up with three minutes to play. A clever grubber kick bounced awkwardly in front of Shaun Ainscough, who has so far enjoyed an excellent Super League XIV, and was pounced on gratefully by Brown. Another perfect Hodgson conversion gave the Giants a 22-8 win at full-time.nnWigan – 8nnT: Bailey (16); Roberts (63)nnG:nnHuddersfield – 22nnT: Moore (29); Lawrence (74); Brown (77)nnG: Hodgson (9, 21, 30, 74, 77)nnHT: 4-10nnRef: P BenthamnnAtt: 11,670

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