Super League: Wildcats miss absentees as Giants claim first home win

Matt Ryan. PIC: Scott Merrylees
Matt Ryan. PIC: Scott Merrylees
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Huddersfield rounded off a successful Easter with a 36-16 win over Wakefield to register their first home win of the season.

The Wildcats played well in patches but a superb performance from full-back Jarrod Sammut could not prevent them from suffering a sixth successive defeat.

The visitors sorely missed first-choice second row pair Danny Kirmond and Ali Lauitiiti as well as centre Dean Collis but Matty Ryan and Lucas Walshaw proved capable deputies in a losing cause.

Huddersfield, fresh from a 42-22 win at Salford on Good Friday, were the liveliest side from the start, with prop Eorl Crabtree and winger Aaron Murphy both coming up with clean breaks inside the first four minutes.

They lacked the finishing on both occasions and needed a slice of fortune to open the scoring, with Leroy Cudjoe gratefully taking possession from Michael Lawrence’s skewed kick to get winger Jodie Broughton over at the corner.

Lawrence got the Giants’ next try, taking Shaun Lunt’s pass close to the line, but the Wildcats demonstrated their fighting spirit to score two first-half tries.

Sammut, preferred at full-back to Richard Mathers, cut a superb line to collect Harry Siejka’s pass to go over for the first and then put in a kick that bounced kindly for Walshaw to touch down. Sammut added one goal as the visitors trailed only 12-10 after 25 minutes but they undid their good work with two errors from which Huddersfield scored tries.

Centre Joe Wardle pounced on Sammut’s dropped pass to get forward Ukuma Ta’ai over on 27 minutes while Cudjoe swooped on a careless pass by stand-off Paul Sykes to run in a 50-metre interception try. With Danny Brough kicking all four conversions, the Giants led 24-10 at the break and they extended their advantage early in the second half when second rower Jason Chan took Brough’s pass to charge over for a fifth try.

Wakefield were in danger of being over-run at that stage but Sammut was in inspired form as they came back into the game.

Ryan burst through the Giants line only to be ankle-tapped by the impressive Lunt while prop Scott Anderson went close after a break out of defence by the admirable Sammut.

The Wildcats’ persistence eventually paid off when substitute Jon Molloy took Sammut’s pass to cross for a third try and Sammut kicked his second conversion.

But the Giants never looked like relaxing their grip and Lunt got a deserved try six minutes from the end, burrowing his way over from dummy half, and Brough landed his sixth goal from as many attempts to round off the scoring.

Huddersfield Giants: Grix; Broughton, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Wood; Crabtree, Lunt, Kaufusi, Chan, Patrick, Lawrence. Subs: Kopczak, Bailey, Ta’ai, Mullally.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Sammut; Fox, Mathers, Walshaw, Riley; Sykes, Siejka; Raleigh, McShane, Scruton, Ryan, Washbrook, Smith. Subs: Godinet, Anderson, Moore, Molloy.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL).

attendance: 5,487.

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