Huddersfield are one win away from claiming the League Leader’s Shield after a gritty 26-12 win over London Broncos - but they were made to sweat.
Coach Paul Anderson breathed a sigh of relief and proclaimed it was “mission accomplished”, but the Londoners came within six points of an upset.
The visitors amassed an 18-0 lead in the second half thanks to tries from Aaron Murphy, Ukuma Ta’ai and Eorl Crabtree, as well as six points from the boot of Danny Brough.
But following efforts from Broncos pair James Woodburn-Hall and Alex Hurst, Huddersfield had to wait until a late Dale Ferguson try to secure their seventh straight win - another against Wakefield on September 1 would seal top spot.
“The main aim coming down here was to come and get two points and it’s mission accomplished,” said Anderson. “I thought London caused us a hell of a lot of problems both offensively and defensively and they forced us to play. I thought patience, pure determination and hard work got us the win in the end. It was a scrappy game.”
Wigan can no longer finish top of the Super League after suffering a 22-8 defeat to the Catalan Dragons, but coach Shaun Wane now has other things to think about.
The Warriors are five points behind the Giants with two games to play and thus cannot take the league leader’s shield, but silverware does beckon next weekend.
They are overwhelming favourites to beat Hull at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final and, away from this loss, can rejoice at Sam Tomkins’ successful completion of 80 minutes following injury.
The star full-back has been in and out all summer but now looks a good bet to make next week’s game.
“It was good to have Sam back this week, he’ll be good this (coming) week,” Wane said.
“Obviously next week is a massive game for us and it will be a different challenge for our players but it is one we’re looking forward to immensely.”
Catalan Dragons sealed their place in the play-offs with the Wigan win, ensuring a three-way fight for the last place between Bradford Bulls and the two Hull clubs.