Challenge Cup: Huddersfield Giants 6-33 Warrington Wolves

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport

Warrington ran in five tries to overpower a dogged Huddersfield and secure a Challenge Cup final showdown with Leeds on 25 August.

Brett Hodgson's 17-point haul won him the man-of-the-match award as one of five Wolves try scorers, securing a third Wembley visit in four seasons.

Giants, who had Scott Moore's try to show for their efforts, were unable to cope with Warrington's intensity.

The victory continues Wire's hopes of a Super League and Challenge Cup double.

Reaching Wembley continues a remarkable rise for Warrington following Tony Smith's arrival at the Halliwell-Jones in 2009, with two Challenge Cups and a Super League leader's shield.

He now takes his current side into the final against the side they conquered in the 2010 final, and whom Smith coached to a final defeat by Hull FC in 2005.

Meanwhile Nathan Brown will ponder what might have been in his final season at the Galpharm before he heads off to coach St Helens next season.

Warrington, welcoming back the pivotal Lee Briers after injury, were big favourites going into the match, particularly against a Giants side with seven defeats in eight games.

However, in a first half they dominated, Warrington found themselves behind early on thanks to the ingenuity of Giants half-back Danny Brough.

Brough's huge 40-20 camped Huddersfield deep in Wolves territory, and Scott Moore took in David Fa'alogo's ball from the resulting play to touch down.

The response from the Wolves was swift, if not controversial.

Keith Mason's knock on gave Wire a set of six inside the Giants' 20, and Garreth Carvell burst through a gap off Briers' ball to stretch out an arm over the whitewash.

There was some confusion over double movement when the move was slowed down on replay, but the video referee gave the Wolves prop the benefit of the doubt.

Tony Smith's side had found their groove, in Lee Briers they had a player whose kicking game rivalled that of Brough - and the Welshman targeted Giants full-back Scott Grix to great effect.

Firstly a huge up and under forced the Ireland international into a knock on and, from the corresponding scrum, Ryan Atkins notched his 21st try of the season after Stefan Ratchford's probing pass along the line.

There was barely time to breathe before Briers hoisted up a carbon copy, Grix again failed to gather and Joel Monaghan was alert to the loose ball to add to Wire's tally.

Hodgson matched Briers for accuracy with his kicking, nailing three from three in the first 40.

Having found territory hard to come by in the opening period, Giants had Brown and Cudjoe held up as they pressed after the hooter but were unable to prise a way through the Wire line.

At the other end of the field, Ratchford caused chaos when his high ball forced Murphy to knock on, but Michael failed to join brother Joel Monaghan on the scoresheet when Ian Smith ruled out the try for crossing.

Wire threw everything at the Giants in a bid to put the game beyond doubt, but found Brown's side scrambling across the line to stop them in their tracks.

However their luck ran out when Briers found Hodgson who picked up the gap between the cover on the Giants left and nipped in for a simple try.

Hodgson's drop goal and penalty added further obstacles to Huddersfield's cause, and the tiring Giants were unable to stop Ratchford from crowning the victory with his late score.


Warrington coach Tony Smith told BBC Sport:

"It's fantastic, we're excited, the guys did a great job. Huddersfield came and gave us a game, that's the best they've played for a while, they found the form they've been lacking for a while.

"The kicking game was very good, our discipline was good, and defensively we were good, our pack of forwards were good through the middle and our opponents found it hard to cope with.

"Leeds are desperate for it, they keep giving themselves a chance and it'll be a good game between us, two teams that like to play rugby league and in good spirit."

Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown told BBC Sport:

"We actually competed, which haven't done for a couple of weeks but physically they were better than us. They dominated field position, they had attacking kicks and they were clearly the better side that won the game.

"We lost our way with our attack which was disappointing and they were far too good on the day. We'd competed hard and at half-time it was only 18-6, but the second half was a replica of the first half.

"We didn't get in positions and when you keep giving sides like Warrington an opportunity they get on the goal line and it's tough. They choked us out of it today."


Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gilmour, Murphy; Brown, Brough; Crabtree, Moore, Mason, Fa'alogo, Ferguson, Lawrence.

Replacements: Robinson, Faiumu, Patrick, Fairbank.

Warrington: Hodgson; J. Monaghan, C. Bridge, Atkins, Riley; Briers, Ratchford; Carvell, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison.

Replacements: Wood, Morley, M. Monaghan, McCarthy.

Attendance: 9,473

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Great Britain)

Top Stories