Huddersfield Giants 12 Wigan Warriors 14: Successive wins for Adrian Lam's side

Wigan beat Huddersfield for the second time in a week as they edged a tussle between two depleted sides.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:41 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:44 pm
Mitch Clark celebrates his breakthrough try

Both sides scored two converted tries but Harry Smith's penalty ultimately proved decisive in ensuring the Warriors claimed successive wins, firmly drawing a line under their recent five-game losing streak.

Mitch Clark scored the only try of a nervy half short on thrills.

But the game opened up after the break and the Giants twice pegged the scores back to a two point margin, setting up a tense finish which Wigan came out on top of.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Both sides were missing a clutch of frontline players.

While Adrian Lam was able to bring back two props - Ethan Havard and Ollie Partington - to the side which won 16-12 five days earlier, halfback Jackson Hastings (suspension) and hooker Sam Powell (injury) dropped out.

Three teenagers profited, as the knock-on effect saw Umyla Hanley start at full-back, Sam Halsall come in on the wing and 18-year-old Brad O'Neill promoted from the bench to start at hooker.

Amir Bourouh, 20, also made a surprise appearance after being recalled from a loan spell at Halifax. By the time he came off the bench near the half-hour mark the scores were 0-0 and there had been few chances either way.

Among the highlights, winger Halsall was assured under the high ball, their error-rate was low and their tigerish defence dominated the ruck.

The breakthrough was provided by Clark who - five days after his first try for the club - claimed his second, marching through a brittle defence to plunge the ball down. Smith converted to make it 6-0.

The only other flashpoint of the first half came just before the break as Sam Hewitt and Partington clashed, dragging in players from both sides but the melee settled down as quickly as it had flared up.

Lam had stressed the importance of getting the win, however means necessary, and that seemed evident by their decision to strike a penalty early in the second-half to make it 8-0.

But on the hour, Will Pryce - son of Leon - dragged the Giants back into the contest, stepping between Smith and Liam Farrell to drive over for his first Super League try. Oliver Russell's conversion cut the margin to two points.

Those two Wigan defenders, though, soon make amends as Smith fed Oliver Gildart, the centre sliced through a napping defence to send the supporting Farrell over under the sticks. Smith's conversion made it 14-6.

If that settled the nerves, it was only temporarily, as Nathan Peteru slipped out of Brad Singleton's tackle to crash over for a try Russell converted, again cutting the margin to two points.

But Wigan held on in the final few minutes, the experience of Farrell, in particular, coming to the fore. Wigan host Wakefield next Friday with no limit on their crowd.

Huddersfield: Golding; Senior, Wardle, Wood, Cudjoe; Pryce, Russell; Wilson, Peats, Gavet, Jones, McQueen, Yates. Subs: Hewitt, Peteru, Stevens, McGillvary.

Wigan: Hanley; Halsall, Bibby, Gildart, Marshall; Leuluai, Smith; Singleton, O'Neill, Clubb, Farrell, Pearce-Paul, Partington. Subs: Bourouh, Clark, Havard, Shorrocks.

Half-time: 0-6

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas