HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS turned the Super League table on its head with an 11-0 victory over leaders Warrington, although their second win of the season was not enough to lift them off the bottom after Leeds Rhinos’ victory over Hull.
The Giants mastered the greasy conditions at the John Smith’s Stadium, largely through the boot of an impressive Danny Brough, to halt their five-match losing run and condemn the Wolves to a second successive defeat.
In a game of few chances, Huddersfield managed a try in each half through threequarters Aaron Murphy and Leroy Cudjoe and defended superbly to keep their own line intact.
Warrington, who left out winger Tom Lineham, sorely missed the kicking game of injured half-back Chris Sandow and made far too many handling errors to be truly competitive.
Brough’s clever tactical kicking in the tricky wet conditions ensured Huddersfield were on the front foot for most of the game and Warrington were forced to concede no fewer than six goal-line drop-outs in the first half alone.
The visitors made the first clear break of the match through hooker Daryl Clark, but full-back Ryan Brierley proved to be a secure last line of defence and they spent most of the first half pinned inside their own half.
As the Giants maintained the pressure, second rower Joe Wardle was held up over the line and left winger Murphy would have scored six minutes from half-time had Rhys Evans not managed to knock down Brierley’s pass.
The game’s first try came in the same spot, though, with Brough making the initial half-break and centre Jake Connor’s one-handed offload getting Murphy in at the corner.
The try was too far out for Brough to convert, but he made ammends and it was 6-0 with a 40-metre penalty five minutes into the second half.
Warrington forced a couple of goal-line drop-outs early in the third quarter, but, despite the prompting of Kurt Gidley, generally failed to trouble a well-marshalled defence and Huddersfield continued to look the more dangerous side.
Giants second rower Oliver Roberts got to the line but was unable to ground the ball, while at the other end Evans caught Gidley’s high kick at the corner but was ushered over the dead-ball line and with it went Warrington’s last chance of victory.
Brough, never far from the action, slotted over a long-range drop goal on 65 minutes to put his side two scores in front before England centre Cudjoe made sure of the victory when he took Wardle’s pass to cross for his side’s second try.
Brough was off target once more with the conversion attempt, but he had already done enough to clinch the man-of-the-match award by then.
Huddersfield Giants: Brierley, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, K. Wood, Johnson, Hinchcliffe, Huby, Wardle, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Substitutes: Rapira, Leeming, Mason, Roberts.
Warrington Wolves: Russell, Penny, Hughes, Atkins, R. Evans, Gidley, Ratchford, Hill, Clark, Sims, Westwood, Currie, Westerman. Substitutes: G. King, Philbin, Jullien, Wilde.
Referee: R Silverwood (RFL).