Wolves overcome Giants to make Grand Final

Warrington will return to Old Trafford, after a tense 30-22 win over Huddersfield.

The Wolves will have the chance of redemption from their 2012 Grand Final defeat, as they outsmarted a tired looking Giants outfit.

It was a perfect start for the Wire in the qualifying semi-final, with some stern defence meeting Huddersfield on the opening set, and when the home side gained possession, they were provided with a promising attacking platform due to a Brett Ferres indiscretion.

Skilful handling from Chris Bridge put Joel Monaghan in for a simple finish, and the majority of the Halliwell Jones Stadium was delighted.

Stefan Ratchford converted well from out wide and the Wolves again took control as the game resumed.

However in the eighth minute, after his interception had given his side their first momentum, Danny Brough grounded the ball for a freak try, following a bouncing kick that caused confusion in the Warrington defence.

The Scottish international converted his own score, and after what was a hectic opening, the game settled into a tense pattern of mistakes from both sides.

Ten minutes later, from one of these mistakes – a Chris Riley knock on – Huddersfield were allowed to work the ball down the right, and 18-year-old full-back Jake Connor almost looked surprised as he was able squeeze through some poor defence from the home side.

The video referee confirmed the try and the Giants were suddenly in front, although the conversion was missed by Brough.

Warrington’s response was a triple change, with Adrian Morley, Garreth Carvell and Michael Monaghan all entering the action. It was the latter who would make the difference, and the experienced Wolves were soon back in front.

With Monaghan dictating an attack close to the Giants line, the ball went wide for his brother Joel to score a carbon copy of his first try. Another superb Ratchford conversion followed and Warrington took a 12-10 lead.

Just prior to half-time the 2012 runners-up extended the gap further, with Simon Grix pouncing on some indecision from Leroy Cudjoe to collect a Richie Myler grubber, and score his 10th try of the season.

Ratchford’s third conversion was the last point-scoring of what was a strange first half in many respects, and as the second-half began, the 18-10 scoreline would not last long.

Man of the Match Lee Briers‘ kicking game finally clicked to find a soaring Ryan Atkins, whose try was again added to by the accurate Ratchford.

With the match getting away from Huddersfield, they had to score next, and in the 51st minute they did just that. Jermaine McGillvary was put in with a looping pass from Luke Robinson and Brough added the extras for the League Leaders.

Deadlock ensued for the next 20 minutes before Dale Ferguson then found a way through for Huddersfield. Brough converted for a 24-22 scoreline, and the Wolves were under real pressure for the first time in the match.

Their response showed why they deserve a place in the Grand Final, as disciplined defence was followed by Grix’s second try from a clever Briers kick.

Ratchford then made the final score 30-22 with a simple conversion, to end Huddersfield’s incredible season, and send the primrose and blue of Warrington to Old Trafford for the second consecutive year.

Warrington: Ratchford, C Riley, C Bridge, Atkins, J Monaghan, Briers, Myler, Wood, Higham, Hill, Grix, Westwood, Harrison. Subs: Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Cooper.

Huddersfield: Connor, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Chan, Lawrence. Subs: Patrick, Ta’ai, Ferguson, Wood.

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