Huddersfield 26 Wakefield 20: Drew hauls Huddersfield to remarkable win

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The Independent Online

Huddersfield came close to ensuring their Super League survival with one of the most remarkable fightbacks the competition has seen.

With a fraction over half an hour to play, Wakefield were 20-0 up and on their way to a win that would have taken them above the Giants and Wigan in the lower reaches of the division.

Then Huddersfield, inspired by their hooker Brad Drew, exploded into life with five tries in 17 minutes.

First Drew triggered the Giants' first truly incisive attack of the afternoon, Kevin Brown and Paul Smith putting Stuart Donlan in at the corner. Drew then worked the blind side on the last tackle to send in Michael de Vere, who kicked a second conversion from the touchline.

Eorl Crabtree's powerful run and a smart kick from Brown then set up Martin Aspinwall and the Giants drew level when Drew chased his own kick and threw a long pass to put Aspinwall in for his second.

A flash of vintage Robbie Paul won the game. His acceleration opened up the weary Wildcats defence and Steve Snitch was there to kill off his former club.

"It was absolutely unbelievable and I'm sick to the back teeth of it," said the Wakefield coach, Tony Smith, of his side's second-half collapse. "How can the coach be held to blame for that?"

A composed Jon Sharp insisted he had always been confident of his side's ability to win the game, but there was precious little sign of it in the first 50 minutes.

Wakefield dominated, from the moment Aspinwall lost the ball and Ben Jeffries got a pass away for David Solomona to score. A penalty for obstruction then put Huddersfield under pressure and they cracked, Jamie Rooney's pass giving Paul White a try against his former club.

Jason Demetriou's break then gave Rooney a try and Rooney added his fourth goal. Huddersfield, however, had radically different ideas and, given the nature of this season's Super League table, can now turn their eyes elsewhere.

"We've still got a chance of making the play-offs," said Sharp, but it is doubtful whether that theme governed his talk at half-time.

Huddersfield: Reilly; Aspinwall, Brown, De Vere, Donlan; Thorman, Paul; Jackson, Drew, Gannon, Nero, Jones, Wild. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Snitch, Smith, Raleigh.

Wakefield: Halpenny; Tadulala, Demetriou, Atkins, White; Rooney, Jeffries; Watene, March, Korkidas, Solomona, Field, Betham. Substitutes used: Elima, Obst, MacGIllivray, Griffin.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

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