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)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test