Huddersfield 18 Warrington 19: Briers' drop goal brings down Giants

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The Independent Online

When Huddersfield's newly appointed coach, Nathan Brown, watches the delayed Australian telecast of this match, he will see that he has plenty to work with next season. He will also see a side that needs to compete for the full 80 minutes.

A late drop goal from Lee Briers won the game for Warrington after Huddersfield had built a handsome lead through Leroy Cudjoe's first-half hat-trick. The 19-year-old local full-back first took advantage of the Wolves' frailties after two minutes, when Chris Riley fumbled a kick and Ryan Hudson put through a subtle kick for Cudjoe to touch down. Chris Hicks kicked a penalty for Warrington but Huddersfield again cashed in when Cudjoe scored from a Chris Thorman pass. Thorman kicked his second goal.

Warrington came back when they trapped Cudjoe behind his line and applied the pressure from the drop-out, Ben Westwood getting over after a build-up by Michael Monaghan and Briers. Hicks hit the post from in front. Cudjoe's third came when Hicks lost the ball and Steven Wild ran upfield. Monaghan and Ben Harrison missed Cudjoe and he got the ball down despite Matt King's efforts.

It had been an impressive half from the Giants, but within 10 minutes of the restart the scores were level. First Riley kept the ball alive for Simon Grix to find a way through, then a clever pass from Adrian Morley sent in Paul Rauhihi for another converted try. Kevin Brown and Martin Aspinwall were both denied Giants tries by the video referee before Robinson fluffed a drop-goal attempt. A couple of minutes later Briers showed how to do it, despite being off balance.

"We were slightly off our game across the board, but we scraped it," said Warrington coach James Lowes. Huddersfield's caretaker Paul Anderson was pleased, "but we didn't continue to do things we did in the first half," he said.

Leeds hung on to second place by beating third-placed Catalan Dragons 37-24 in Perpignan after trailing 18-10 at half-time.

Huddersfield: Cudjoe; Aspinwall, Brown, Whatuira, Hodgson; Thorman, Robinson; Mason, Hudson, Raleigh, Lolesi, Wild, Kirmond. Substitutes used: Snitch, Jones, Griffin, Jackson.

Warrington: Hicks; Riley, Grix, King, Penny; Briers, Monaghan; Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, L Anderson, Westwood, Gleeson. Substitutes used: Parker, Cooper, Harrison, Bracek.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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