By Rachel Arnett (images by swpix)
Warrington Wolves travelled to a very wet and windy John Smith’s Stadium on Thursday night to take on the Huddersfield Giants in Round Two of the new Betfred Super League season.
Both sides suffered defeat in their opening round so were looking to pick up their first two points.
Warrington made just one change to the starting, Declan Patton coming in for Tyrone Roberts. Morgan Smith took his place on the bench.
A couple of changes were made to the Giants’ line-up from Round One too with Michael Lawrence and Adam Walne missing out, Tyler Dickinson named on the bench, Paul Clough and Dale Ferguson both taking a starting spot.
The first half saw the Wire get the first points on the board with a try from Lineham but the home side then hit back with two of their own; first Ferguson going over before McIntosh crossed. Brough putting boot to ball for the Giants.
The second half was slow to start in terms of points scoring, waiting until the final quarter of the match with a Giants’ try from Turner; the only one of the half.
Ratchford’s kick-off went out on the full handing the restart to Huddersfield. Their first line of attack was set up 20 metres out after Brough’s kick into touch. A short pass back with the line begging saw the ball knocked on by Ta’ai handing the scrum to the Wire.
A penalty for holding down went the way of the Giants just minutes later but the Wire soon capitalised on lost possession, scooping up the ball, Currie with the break. A kick from Ratchford to the left corner put Lineham sliding over on five minutes. Goodwin’s kick from the touchline bounced off post 0-4
On 11 minutes the Giants came close to a response on the back of a drop-out; following up a kick to the in-goal by Rankin but the ball skipped away over to the right edge.
From play on the back of a penalty on 14 minutes, a pass from Brough to Ferguson on his outside edge put him over the line. Brough added the conversion.
Four minutes later and the Giants were over for a second. They kept the ball in play on the last and with a chip kick through from Mamo a Wire hand attempted to knock the ball out of play but just caught it short, McIntosh there to claim and take the try. Brough converted. 12-4
On the half-hour mark the Wire created an opportunity to hit back off the back of a drop-out but a kick through from Clark had just a bit too much weight behind it and beat the chase. Again on 31 minutes Lineham came close again in the same corner but this time couldn’t quite gather the ball from Brown’s kick.
With half time approaching the Wire were penalised for holding down and the Giants took the option to kick for goal; Brough with the two from in front to make it 14-4.
It was the visitors who had the final say of the half though; Mamo looking to have gone over but ruled out for obstruction before Goodwin kicked a penalty goal for the Wire on the half time whistle. 14-6
The opening to the second half saw the conditions testing both sides, turning over possession, but Warrington with plenty of ball in strong field position.
On 55 minutes the Wire supporters saw a chance open up. A penalty was handed to the visitors after Goodwin was impeded getting up from the tackle after making a break down the middle. Closer to the line Brown opted to run it on the last but his pass out to Lineham’s edge went out of play.
After a few heated moments, it was the Giants who scored the next points on 63 minutes. Ratchford couldn’t reach the ball in the in-goal from Brough’s kick and Turner was there ready to get the try. Brough with the conversion to extend the lead to 20-6.
In the closing stages the Wire kept looking to break the line to register more points but were unable to turn the pressure into results.
With a couple of minutes left on the clock Rankin made an attempt at a drop goal from in front but it skidded away under the sticks.
Jake Mamo, Darnell McIntosh, Lee Gaskell, Jordan Turner, Aaron Murphy, Jordan Rankin, Danny Brough, Paul Clough, Adam O’Brien, Ukuma Ta’ai, Dale Ferguson, Oliver Roberts, Ryan Hinchcliffe
Subs: Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Daniel Smith, Tyler Dickinson
Tries: Ferguson, McIntosh, Turner
Goals: Brough (4)
Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Ryan Atkins, Matty Russell, Kevin Brown, Declan Patton, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Ben Murdoch-Masila
Interchanges: Ben Westwood, Joe Philbin, George King, Morgan Smith
Tickets are available now for Warrington’s next home match at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 23rd February against local rivals Wigan Warriors.