Huddersfield stand tall to shake ghosts

Warrington 20 Huddersfield 26
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Huddersfield exorcised their ghosts at the Halliwell Jones Stadium by outlasting Warrington for a victory that boosts their play-off hopes and takes them to fourth place in the Super League table.

Badly beaten at the same ground by St Helens in the Challenge Cup semi-final a week earlier, the Giants rose to the challenge this time, winning an increasingly absorbing contest with two tries in four minutes deep into the second half.

Huddersfield were trailing by six when Eorl Crabtree got his reward for a highly effective display by driving over from close range, with David March's kick tying the scores.

Warrington had no time to recover before the explosive Stanley Gane produced the initial burst and pass for Paul Smith, before Chris Nero went over for the decisive try.

''We came here intending for it to be an arm wrestle and to go to the last minute if we had to,'' said their coach, Jon Sharp. "We felt that the semi-final didn't reflect the quality of our side.''

Warrington suffered from the after-effects of a hard fought draw with Bradford on Tuesday night. "We allowed ourselves to become victims of circumstances. Our main opposition was fatigue and we succumbed to that,'' their coach, Paul Cullen, said. "We didn't have 17 who gave the ultimate effort.''

There had been little hint of the drama to come in a scrappy opening quarter, punctuated by penalties and errors and notable only for the try that Lee Briers and Gary Hulse created for John Clarke. Huddersfield hit back with a dazzling try, begun by Crabtree's wonderful offload, continued by Genny's surging run and finished by Julian Bailey.

The Giants took the lead when Genny supplied the pass to send Ben Roarty through Paul Noone's tackle. Huddersfield had a couple of other good chances, but the Wolves were level at half time when Briers sent Jerome Guisset in and Briers' subtly flighted kick produced a try for Dean Gaskell after the break.

That looked like a winning position, but Warrington ran out of energy - one commodity every side needs against the revitalised Giants.

Two other worries for Cullen were that Danny Lima, already facing a disciplinary hearing this week on a high tackle charge, was placed on report for another, and that Ben Westwood was stretchered off after taking a heavy knock. So it was a poor afternoon all round for the Wolves.

Warrington: Hulse, Gaskell, Westwood, Grose, Varkulis, Briers, N Wood, P Wood, Clarke, Lima, Burns, Wainwright, Noone, Substitutes used: Sibbit, Guisset, Hilton, Stevens

Huddersfield: Reilly, O'Hare, Gene, Bailey, Donlan, Costin, March, Fleary, Penkywicz, Gannon, Jones, Roarty, Nero. Substitutes used: Cooper, Morrison, Smith, Crabtree

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).