Super League Play-offs: Wigan Warriors 57-4 Huddersfield Giants

Matty Smith
Smith was named in the Super League Dream Team for 2014 on Monday
Wigan Warriors (24) 57
Tries: Charnley 2, Smith, Clubb, Farrell, Tomkins, Sarginson, Bowen, O'Loughlin, Burgess
Goals: Smith 8 Drop goal: Smith
Huddersfield Giants (0) 4
Tries: Cudjoe

Half-back Matty Smith scored 21 points as reigning Super League champions Wigan thrashed Huddersfield to move within 80 minutes of the Grand Final.

Four unanswered first-half tries from Josh Charnley, Smith, Tony Clubb and Liam Farrell, plus four goals put Wigan ahead 24-0 at the half-time hooter.

Joel Tomkins, Dan Sarginson, Matty Bowen, Charnley, Sean O'Loughlin and Joe Burgess crossed after the break.

Leroy Cudjoe's score was scant consolation for a chastened Giants.

Paul Anderson's Giants came into the game as Super League's form side, winning six of their last seven games but Wigan, on the back of victories over Warrington and Leeds, showed their play-off nous to reach the qualifying semis.

Play-off deja-vu
Huddersfield played Wigan at home in the 2013 Super League play-offs having won the League Leaders' Shield but were blown away in similar fashion by a rampant Warriors side.Although the score was closer - 22-8 - Wigan were comfortable winners and went on to win the overall competition, beating Warrington at Old Trafford.

Smith edged Wigan ahead from the tee after O'Loughlin was held down in the tackle and Brett Ferres's knock-on close to the line was as good as it got for Giants as Wigan took total control.

Jermaine McGillvary coughed up a penalty and Wigan punished the error with a swift move to the right where Charnley slid in to score his 150th try.

Smith then dummied through to score, and turned provider to put Clubb through a gap as Huddersfield melted in defence.

Barely a minute had passed when the Warriors scored again as Burgess scampered away down the left and dumped back inside to Farrell for a fourth try.

Giants were spared a fifth try by obstruction at the end of the half, and finally got on the board themselves after half-time when Cudjoe pounced on hesitancy from his own kick to register a response.

Rather than inspire the Giants, the touchdown seemed to lift Wigan who roared back with six scores without reply to inflict a bruising defeat.

Sam Tomkins watches his brother Joel on his return to former club Wigan
Sam Tomkins watches his brother Joel on his return to former club Wigan, accompanied by former Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins

Tomkins went over in front of his watching brother Sam for his first try since returning to league, and Sarginson, Bowen and Charnley scores, on the back of some sparkling edge play, ended the game as a contest.

Not that Wigan eased up, with O'Loughlin and Burgess tries, plus a Smith drop-goal taking the tally beyond 50 to earn a week off and leave Giants with regrouping to do for next week's knock-out fixture.

Wigan head coach Shaun Wane:

"I just wanted to win, whether it was by one point or 50 points, but the manner we did it pleased me. I'll sleep well tonight.

"I thought our middles were dominant and we attacked really crisply. I'm not going to get carried away but if we compete the way we did today and we keep that energy, we will trouble teams.

"Matty Smith's got a big heart and is a smart player. He's playing well and defending tough. That [left] edge was fantastic. Dan Sarginson has gone under the radar but he's been fantastic for me this year and now he's getting the plaudits he deserves."

Huddersfield head coach Paul Anderson:

"It's embarrassing. "We dipped our toe in the water and it was too cold for us.

"When we decide not to stick to the processes, that's what happens. When emotions get involved, people try to solve problems on their own.

"I thought Wigan were ready to play, they were very slick and we weren't at the races. Wigan were physically too big and too strong. We turned it in if I'm being honest."

Thursday's squads

Wigan Warriors: Bowen, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, Green, Smith, Flower, McIlorum, Crosby, Tomkins, L. Farrell, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: Powell, Pettybourne, Clubb, Bateman.

Huddersfield: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Connor, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kaufusi, Ferres, Patrick, Lawrence.

Replacements: Kopczak, Faiumu, Ta'ai, Johnson.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL).

Attendance: 8,652

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