Huddersfield Giants fall short as Warrington Wolves book place in semi-finals

Warrington Wolves' Stefan Ratchford celebrates with temamates after Garrth Carvell's his try against Huddersfield Giants, during the Tetley's Challenge Cup, Quarter Final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.
Warrington Wolves' Stefan Ratchford celebrates with temamates after Garrth Carvell's his try against Huddersfield Giants, during the Tetley's Challenge Cup, Quarter Final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.
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Holders Warrington are 80 minutes away from a fourth Wembley appearance in five years after demolishing Huddersfield in their Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wolves never looked back after running in four tries in a 15-minute spell to lead 20-0, with veteran full-back Brett Hodgson once more proving the scourge of his old club.

The Giants briefly hit back to cut the gap to eight points but tries either side of half-time by winger Joel Monaghan put the result beyond.

Huddersfield have managed to beat all the leading teams in Super League this year apart from the Wolves and yesterday’s eighth successive defeat against their nemesis will force them to put all their energy into reaching a first Grand Final if they are to end a 50-year wait for major silverware.

The Warrington forwards were quickly into the ascendancy to give half-backs Lee Briers and Stefan Ratchford the space to torment the Giants’ defence with their clever kicking game.

It was from a training-ground move that the Wolves opened the scoring, England and former Wakefield second rower Ben Westwood taking a return pass from Briers to get prop Paul Wood romping over for the first of their eight tries.

The home side to keep the pressure on and they extended their lead when Ratchford’s neatly-timed pass got second rower Trent Waterhouse over for a second try.

Ever-dangerous hooker Mickey Higham then burrowed his way over from dummy half and centre Simon Grix carved out an opening for winger Chris Riley to go over for his side’s fourth try to make it 20-0 after only 25 minutes.

The introduction of towering prop Eorl Crabtree injected new life into the visitors and, when he was brought down just short of the line from a trademark burst, Lunt forced his way over from dummy half.

Dale Ferguson took Luke Robinson’s pass to tear into space and he ran over Hodgson to claim a second try.

Danny Brough added both conversions to make it 20-12 but Warrington pulled away with two tries from Monaghan either side of half-time.

Hodgson, sporting a bandage to stem the flow of blood from a head wound, kicked his fourth goal to restore his side’s 20-point lead and there was no way back for the Giants when Briers collected his own grubber kick to score a seventh try.

Prop Garreth Carvell added another on 57 minutes after taking Hodgson’s pass and bouncing off full-back Scott Grix and Hodgson took his goal tally to six from eight attempts.

Huddersfield were a well-beaten side but they at least finished the game with a flourish with two tries in the last six minutes through winger McGillvary and full-back Grix, with Brough kicking his fourth goal.

The day before Hull FC booked their first semi-final – against Warrington Wolves – in five years with a 24-13 win at Catalan Dragons. London Broncos will face either Wigan Warriors or Widnes Vikings in the other semi-final.

Australia, meanwhile, left Leeds with a clean sweep of World Cups after their students turned round a 10-point half-time deficit to triumph in the Headingley Carnegie sun.

England dominated the first period but were second-best after the break.

Earlier Australia had somehow held on to wrest the Police Rugby League World Cup crown from the unorthodox Fijians, desperate defence seeing them home 18-16 in a frantic finish.

Ecstatic Kangaroo coach Craig Sheridan beamed:“It feels fantastic. We were disappointed in 2008 and we knew we had a job to do coming here,” he said.

“We had a game plan and executed it well. We were always in control and never trailed.”

And Australia’s Jillaroos ended the dominance of the silver ferns, claiming their first Women’s World Cup thanks to a strong finish.

The Kiwis had won the previous three women’s tournaments but in a no-holds- barred contest – again hosted by Headingley Carnegie – with Samantha Hammond and Jenni Sue Hoepper prominent, the Aussies saved their best until last to triumph.

Australia head coach Paul Dyer was overjoyed at the outcome. “It feels amazing, all the hard work the girls have put in leading up to this World Cup has paid off,” he commented.

“We had 23 players who came across here to England and they have all got the job done.”

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