Charnley shows scoring touch to put Wigan clear at the summit
Huddersfield 12 Wigan 32
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
The Galpharm Stadium
Saturday 19 May 2012
Wigan's victory last night put two clear points between them and their closest rivals at the top of the Super League table. Only points scored difference separated the two sides at kick-off and at 12-all early in the second half, this looked like being just as close.
But Wigan cut loose with three tries in seven minutes to take decisive control and confirm that they are the team to beat this season, with two of their less heralded players, the centres George Carmont and Darrell Goulding, at the heart of much of their best work.
Shaun Wane, the Wigan coach, is not one for getting carried away, "but to score seven tries against a team like Huddersfield, you can say I'm fairly satisfied," he said.
It was arguably the match of the season so far, and, after both sides had shown their expansive attacking intentions, it was Huddersfield who took the early initiative. It was a beautifully crafted try, from Luke Robinson's faked pass at dummy half, through Leroy Cudjoe's fingertip flick-on, to Jermaine McGillvary's diving touch-down.
Wigan's reply was just as good, Sam Tomkins probing down the right and Goulding's cultured one-handed pass releasing Super League's leading try-scorer, Josh Charnley.
Danny Brough frequently had the Warriors at full stretch in the first half with the imagination of his kicking. Despite that, it was Wigan who went in with the lead, thanks in the first instance to Tomkins, selling a dummy and skirting around the Giants' defence.
As the end of a high-class half of rugby approached, sublime handling from Sean O'Loughlin and Goulding gave Charnley his second.
That left the door ajar for Greg Eden's converted try to bring Huddersfield level. Eden has been touted as the find of the season, but he looked less impressive a minute later, spilling Brett Finch's kick to give Carmont a gift and Wigan the lead once more.
The Giants' defence got out of sync to let in Liam Farrell and Gareth Hock set up Carmont for his second. Wigan were sitting comfortably, especially after Jeff Lima went over in the last minute.
Huddersfield Eden; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Chan, George; Grix, Brough; Crabtree, Robinson, Fa'alogo, Lawrence, Gilmour, Brown. Substitutes used Faiumu, Patrick, Ferguson, Moore.
Wigan Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Gelling; Finch, Leuluai; Dudson, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Crosby.
Referee B.Thaler (Wakefield).
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