Huddersfield Giants 22 Wigan Warriors 10

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane refused to be too critical of his players after losing their first match of the season.

They were eventually out-muscled by Huddersfield - the only team with a 100% record in Super League - in an entertaining if scrappy contest, losing 22-10.

Wigan – missing Man of Steel Sam Tomkins to a shoulder problem – had raced into a 10-0 lead early on through two tries.

But Huddersfield’s response was impressive, as converted tries either side of half-time by Jermaine Gillvary and Jamie Cording, and two Danny Brough penalties, put the home side 16-10 ahead.

The visitors pressed for a leveler but couldn’t find a way through a desperate Huddersfield defence.

And then, in the dying seconds, Brett Ferres snapped up Pat Richards’ desperate pass to race away for a match-sealing try.

Wane said: “Credit to Huddersfield’s defence, we threw a lot at them.

“If we weren’t creating opportunities I’d be concerned. But I thought we were good in patches - it was a good, physical game.”

He refused to use Tomkins’ absence as an excuse.

Ex-Warriors Brett Finch and Ryan Hoffman – in England for the World Club Challenge date with Leeds on Friday – were in the dressing room afterwards, having taken in the game with their Melbourne team-mates.

And they would have been impressed as Wigan took an early grip of the contest with two tries in three minutes.

First, Liam Farrell latched onto Blake Green’s smart pass to power over for his third try in as many games.

And from the restart, the blockbusting back-rower broke from his own half to send Josh Charnley racing to the line to wedge open a 10-point margin.

But that was as good as it got for the travelling faithful. And Wane revealed afterwards that Kiwi winger Anthony Gelling could be missing for several weeks with a knee injury.

He said Tomkins was a huge doubt for their next match, Sunday’s visit of London Broncos