Reilly compounds Wigan's troubles

Huddersfield Giants 26 Wigan Warriors 10
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The Independent Online

Huddersfield showed that they are genuine play-off contenders as they outclassed a Wigan side losing at the McAlpine Stadium for the second year in a row.

Wigan have now won just one of their opening four Super League games and their depleted team is lacking any rhythm or confidence, but that should not detract from the quality of the rugby that the Giants are playing these days. "I took a lot of enjoyment out of the way we played, as well as the result,'' said John Sharp, the Huddersfield coach.

Huddersfield were the more threatening side from the start, going close through Chris Nero and Darren Fleary before Wigan took the lead against the run of play, with Terry Newton smuggling the ball out of the tackle for Danny Tickle to score.

That did nothing to dent Huddersfield's self-belief, even if the converted Brandon Costin try that gave them the lead looked to involve a forward pass.

They would have been further ahead if Danny Orr had not knocked the ball out of Stanley Gene's hands as he went over the line, but, after Paul March's second goal, they stretched their lead when Gene handled twice to create the space for the former Wigan player, Stuart Jones, to touch down.

Even with the wind and rain on their backs in the second half, Wigan were always second-best and any hope of retrieving the game was slipping away from them when Darren Turner went over from dummy half after the outstanding Paul Reilly was stopped on the line.

There was a brief glimmer of hope for the visitors when Brett Dallas scored from Luke Robinson's angled kick, but Reilly underlined Huddersfield's superiority in the last minute as he went in for their fourth try.

"I just don't think that we've turned up and played,'' said a thoughtful Wigan coach, Mike Gregory. "We've made Paul Reilly, who is a good player, look like a world-beater and Huddersfield have done a job on us today.''

To add to Gregory's problems, his back row forward, Gareth Hock, was placed on report for a high tackle in the second half.

Huddersfield: Reilly; O'Hare, Nero, Bailey, St Hilaire; Costin, March; Fleary, Turner, Slicker, Jones, Roarty, Gene. Substitutes used: Donlan, Penkywicz, Gannon, Crabtree.

Wigan: Radlinski, Aspinwall, Wild, Brown, Dallas, Orr, Robinson, O'Connor, Newton, C Smith, Tickle, Farrell, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: M Smith, Pongia, Hock, Beswick.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).