WIGAN rediscovered their ruthless form to propel themselves to within 80 minutes of a Grand Final appearance with victory at league leaders Huddersfield.
Second-half tries from Josh Charnley and Blake Green, both converted by the impeccable Pat Richards, put them firmly in the driving seat after they had tied the opening half 8-8.
And the efficient manner of the performance wiped away any concerns about the Warriors’ recent performances. They showed none of the jitters or nerves associated with a team which had lost their last four straight Super League matches.
They squeezed the life out of the Giants, choking them of real attacks and making the most of their own chances to keep alive their hopes of a rare Challenge Cup and Super League double.
The reward for victory last night is a home semi-final in two weeks’ time, against opponents unknown.
Huddersfield started brightly but, as the game unfolded, appeared hurried and harassed. Wigan, by contrast, had the big-game temperament, controlling possession and kicking sensibly to ratchet up the pressure on their hosts.
Huddersfield went into the match at full-strength, having reinstated their big-guns to the side thrashed at Bradford a week ago. And those big guns took the contest to Wigan early on, trundling down the middle and making many metres in the miserable weather.
They built on that early base, powering 6-0 ahead before Wigan had even had their hands on the ball, courtesy of a Danny Brough converted try.
For Wigan, Scott Taylor added drive from the bench as an early replacement for injured Andy Powell, and in a two-minute window they went from trailing by six points to leading by two.
During a venture into their opponents’ half, they swung the ball to the right and Charnley showed great poise and pace to evade his marker and slide over in the corner for his 40th try of the year.
Pat Richards expertly swung the conversion between the uprights.
And then, from the kick-off, Blake Green appeared to spill the ball, but he argued his feet were over the deadball line at the time and, after concurring with the video official, Phil Bentham awarded Wigan a penalty on the halfway line which Richards successfully struck.
Wigan continued to favour a short kicking game, drilling the ball into the ingoal but without managing to score another try. And just before half-time, Brough dragged the scores back level from 45m after Liam Farrell was punished for obstruction.
The visitors made big improvements from the interval, and Charnley swept over for his second try from a sweet Tomkins cut-out pass. Richards, who had been hit in the head by Luke Robinson’s knee minutes earlier, kept his composure and arrowed the conversion through the posts to make it 14-8.
Matty Smith poked over a drop-goal with 15 minutes remaining, ensuring the Giants would need to score twice to snatch the lead. As their sense of direction escaped them, Wigan took advantage, spreading the ball well and Green darting through a gaping hole to swell the scoreline to 21-8.
Smith added the crowning glory with a second drop-goal.