Mercurial Brough pulls the strings to shut out Wolves

Warrington 22 Huddersfield 34

It is the time of year for end-of-season awards and, if there was one for the most maddening player in Super League, it would probably go to Danny Brough. He can be maddening for his coaches and team-mates because, all too often, his obvious natural talent can implode.

When everything falls into place, however, he can be a torment to his opponents and that was certainly the case for Warrington on Saturday.

Brough produced an inspired kicking game in general play, exposed the lethargy in Warrington's legs with some electrifying running and helped to set up several tries. The best of the lot was the Giants' second try after 12 minutes, when he raced out of dummy half at an eccentric angle before straightening up to blow a hole in the Wolves' defence. Ironically, the move was finished off by Danny Kirmond, who has just returned from a loan to Wakefield that was part of the deal that brought Brough to Huddersfield.

It has not always looked an inspired move on the Giants' part, but on Saturday their coach, Nathan Brown, said: "He showed why our chairman helped to bring him to the club. His kicking game was outstanding and the rest of his game is going pretty well, too."

For the departing Warrington full-back, Richie Mathers, it was a less satisfactory marker in his career. Mathers, on his way to Castleford for next season, made two crucial mistakes, both of which led to tries – Huddersfield's first and last.

Both errors fell into the category of the excusable, with the ball possibly knocked out of his hands for the first and a death-or-glory last-minute pass leading to the second, but that will not necessarily make him feel any better.

Nor will the way that his replacement for next season, Brett Hodgson, gave such a composed display for his present club. The Australian showed what he will have to offer with his acute reading of situations in defence, his adventurous attacking flair and his nerveless goal-kicking. Age is not on his side, but he would improve most teams.

Huddersfield also got a huge contributions from a pack, in which the Salford-bound Stephen Wild was outstanding, and from their half-backs, Luke Robinson and Kevin Brown.

The broader question posed by the demise of a strongly-fancied Warrington side is how hard it is going to be, now that the Challenge Cup final is so late in the season, for any side to complete the Cup and Super League double.

There was no doubt about the Wolves' commitment to doing so – at Wembley they spoke of little else – but they could not regroup quickly enough to avert the play-off defeats by St Helens and Huddersfield, which ended their season.

Even on Saturday, they followed an insipid first half with a revitalised second and were in with a chance of snatching a draw until Mathers' speculative pass sent Leroy Cudjoe racing away to score at the other end.

"They're dangerous," the Warrington coach, Tony Smith, warned Huddersfield's fellow survivors. "They're a good team and a hard team to curb."

Warrington: Mathers, Hicks, King, Atkins, Riley, Briers, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, V Anderson. Substitutes used: Bridge, Higham, Wood, Solomona.

Huddersfield: B Hodgson, Cudjoe, Lawrence, Gilmour, D. Hodgson, Brown, Robinson, Mason, Brough, D Griffin, Kirmond, Fa'alogo, Wild. Substitutes used: Crabtree, Lunt, Faiumu, Patrick.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas