Warrington 20 Huddersfield 38: Thorman hammers weakened Wolves

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The Independent Online

Warrington blew their chances of a home draw in this weekend's first round of the play-offs and slumped to a fourth defeat in a row. They finish the regular season a disappointing sixth in the Super League table and now face a trip to the Catalan Dragons. They may have to make it without their captain, Adrian Morley, who sat out the second half here after taking a heavy knock to the ribs. Bradford's late win at Castleford yesterday earned them a play-off visit to Wigan.

"It must have been quite bad for Moz not to come back on the field," said the Warrington coach, James Lowes, who could also be without two other forwards, Paul Rauhihi and Rob Parker, thanks to injuries picked up here.

Huddersfield had little to play for, but they dominated much of this game with an eager and well-organised display. They got the perfect start with two tries in the first six minutes, the first when Luke Robinson sent Chris Thorman through a gap in a defence that had yet to settle.

When their new hooker, David Faiumu, skipped out as dummy-half to link with Robinson and send Stephen Wild away for another converted try, the Giants were 12 points up.

Warrington made their mark after 10 minutes when Chris Hicks broke down the right and sent Chris Riley over, but they continued to play with little confidence. Their defensive frailties were all too apparent in the way Kevin Brown rode Michael Monaghan's tackle to plant the ball down for the Giants' third try.

They were over again when Thorman kicked through, the ball squirted out as Robinson and Monaghan competed for it and Ryan Hudson, playing his last game before his move to Castleford, touched down.

Thorman's 40-20 kick at the start of the second half yielded a penalty, which he kicked. Matt King scored a try for Warrington and when Kevin Penny leapt to take Monaghan's high-kick and touch down, their hopes of avoiding a trip to France were alive. Jon Clarke's try brought the Wolves to within a score, but Huddersfield were soon striding clear again, Robinson's kick bouncing off King for Faiumu to support and claim the try.

A conversion and a penalty from the accurate Thorman kept Huddersfield ticking over until Wild scored his second try with a minute left to play.

It was Huddersfield's fourth away win on the trot after almost a year without one and it must make them wonder what might have been this season if they had found that sort of form on their travels a little earlier.

Warrington: Hicks; Riley, Grix, King, Penny; Gleeson, Monaghan; Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, Mitchell, Westwood, Blythe. Substitutes used: Wood, Parker, Cooper, Bracek.

Huddersfield: Hodgson; Aspinwall, Wild, Lawrence, Elford; Thorman, Robinson; Crabtree, Faiumu, Mason, Raleigh, Jones, Brown. Substitutes used: Hudson, Jackson, Griffin, Kirmond.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).