Hicks makes Huddersfield suffer again

Huddersfield 10 Warrington 14
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Warrington winger Chris Hicks evaded three challengers on the try-line to win a tense encounter and pile on more misery for Huddersfield.

The game was tied at 10-10 midway through the second half when Hicks, who scored in Warrington's Challenge Cup final win over the Giants last August, outwitted a packed Huddersfield defence to register a fine solo effort.

Earlier, Giants centre Paul Whatuira scored on his return to the Giants side following personal problems. The Kiwi barged over for a try from Lee Gilmour's final pass on 19 minutes.

The Giants made a terrible start in their bid to avenge their 25-15 Wembley cup final defeat when Matt King finished off a flowing move to put Warrington ahead in only the third minute.Richie Mathers, Richie Myler and Ben Harrison were all involved in the sweeping cross-field move which finally put King in for a touchdown by the right corner flag.

But Huddersfield hit back to lead 10-6 with two quick tries, only for Warrington to level before half-time. A Giants breakaway led to the first of their tries. Kevin Brown raced away and passed inside to the on-coming Luke Robinson, who was tackled just short of the line. Darrell Griffin collected the roll back from Robinson and he fed Brown for the final push over the line.

Whatuira's try followed soon after and King was then denied a great chance to score his second try when he was caught by Leroy Cudjoe after intercepting a pass from Robinson. But the outstanding King was not to be denied and on 31 minutes he latched onto Mick Higham's final pass to burst over at the line. Myler converted to tie the scores at 10-10.

The game came close to boiling over before settling into a tense stalemate until Hicks finally broke the deadlock. Huddersfield's Shaun Lunt had a try ruled out just before half-time and a brawl broke out when Brown tried to stop Warrington's quick restart.

Another punch-up broke out in the second half when Giants centre Michael Lawrence, who was lucky not to be sent to the sin-bin, made a high tackle on an opponent. After the game the Huddersfield coach, Nathan Brown, sought to play down the Lawrence incident.

Lawrence was let off with a warning by referee Ian Smith and Brown said: "I know why the referee stopped the game to have a word with Michael and [captain] Brett Hodgson. But to the naked eye, I didn't think the challenge was that bad. I thought a penalty would have been sufficient.

"There was no doubt that this was a physical contest against good opposition. Last year, we would not have done half as well in this sort of battle. It shows that we've improved as a team."

Huddersfield: B Hodgson; Cudjoe, Lawrence, Whaturia, D Hodgson; Brown, Robinson; D Griffin, Faiumu, Raleigh, Gilmour, Fa'alogo, Aspinwall. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Lunt, Patrick, Horne.

Warrington: Mathers; Hicks, King, Atkins, Riley; Grix, Myler; Morley, Monaghan, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Higham, Wood, Solomona, V Anderson.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).