Huddersfield 36 Wakefield 16: Pressure builds on Agar as Giants add to Wakefield’s woes

Wakefield Wildcats' Jarrod Sammut is tackled by Huddersfield Giants' Chris Bailey.
Wakefield Wildcats' Jarrod Sammut is tackled by Huddersfield Giants' Chris Bailey.
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GIVEN the circumstances, Huddersfield Giants will not be unduly fussed how this win came about.

They were scruffy and erratic again yesterday but, having ended a four-match losing run at Salford on Good Friday, quickly delivering a second consecutive win against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is relative progress.

With the likes of Leroy Cudjoe, who scored one and set up another, plus the steadying influence of Shaun Lunt, they always had just enough class.

Wakefield have now lost six successive games and the pressure must be increasing for coach Richard Agar. In fairness, they never gave up when it would have been all too easy to do so.

Yet Trinity need more than just effort if they are to avoid being dragged into the relegation mire and their tendency to self-inflict wounds is increasingly worrying.

Huddersfield, who lost Larne Patrick to an early rib injury, will now foresee the chance to build on this victory.

They have 12 days before their next fixture – admittedly a tough contest at home to Castleford Tigers – but then face struggling London Broncos and Bradford Bulls on consecutive weekends.

However, a typically blunt coach Paul Anderson admitted: “Christ that was boring wasn’t it?

“We were wishing our lives way at one point and the main positive is it (Easter) is over.

“We could blame fatigue but we just weren’t good and it’s inexcusable for some of those errors.”

Wakefield’s capacity to critically hurt themselves was perfectly illustrated in the 27th minute.

They had just scored courtesy of the impressive Lucas Walshaw, though the centre who has been on loan at Dewsbury Rams for much of the year seemed yards offside stood waiting for Jarrod Sammut’s kick to bounce wickedly back into his grasp.

Regardless, Sammut added his second conversion to leave Agar’s men just 12-10 behind against opponents who, for all their Good Friday win, were still fragile.

Wakefield had an ideal opportunity to test them further yet, in the re-start set, Harry Siejka threw an awful and unnecessary pass 30m from his own goalline.

Joe Wardle picked up and Ukuma Ta’ai enjoyed an easy try.

Soon after, Paul Sykes’s pass in his own half was picked off by Cudjoe, too, and, with both scores improved by Danny Brough, suddenly Trinity were 24-10 down.

They desperately needed to score first in the second half and were offered hope when Brough sailed the restart out dead, one of the many needless mistakes Huddersfield still continue to make.

However, they could not capitalise and, instead, Brough’s smart pass put Jason Chan over in the 50th minute.

Antonio Kaufusi will, though, have a nervous wait this morning awaiting the match review panel’s decision after the Huddersfield prop was put on report for an off-the-ball challenge on Pita Godinet on the hour mark.

Sammut used his trickery to usher former Huddersfield forward Jon Molloy over in the 67th minute and convert, but it was a rare moment of class as the game petered out amid a plethora of mistakes from both sides, Lunt dummying over late on for Brough to finish the scoring.

Huddersfield had required a large dose of good fortune for their opening try in the seventh minute, although Michael Lawrence may argue otherwise.

The loose forward had gathered Brough’s kick which had gone high but travelled no distance forward near the Wakefield 20. Being the last tackle, Lawrence immediately hacked it on again, slicing it wildly and embarrassingly only to then see it land perfectly in the arms of Cudjoe.

The England centre suddenly had space to put Jodie Broughton in for the winger’s fifth try in seven games.

Brough – one of four ex-Trinity players in Huddersfield’s starting line-up – slotted the first of his six conversions but their opponents did not capitulate.

Scott Grix was called upon to deny a surging Matt Ryan who, along with Walshaw, proved potent on the left before they eventually levelled in the 16th minute.

Siejka produced a runaround with Andy Raleigh – although his initial pass seemed forward – before finding Sammut who arrowed over beside the posts to convert his own try.

However, their tendency to implode was evident again when Sammut spilled a simple Brough kick, Lunt’s cleverness at dummy-half seeing Lawrence sneak over.

Walshaw seemed to get them back into the contest but then those two rash moments left Trinity with too much to do.

“Some of those errors are really hurting us badly,” conceded Agar. “We’re bursting our own balloon.”

Huddersfield Giants: Grix; Broughton, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Wood; Crabtree, Lunt, Kaufusi, Chan, Patrick, Lawrence. Substitutes: Kopczak, Bailey, Ta’ai, Mullally.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Sammut; Fox, Mathers, Walshaw, Riley; Sykes, Siejka; Raleigh, McShane, Scruton, Ryan, Washbrook, Smith. Substitutes: Godinet, Anderson, Moore, Molloy.

Referee: R Hicks (Oldham).