Warrington 44 Huddersfield Giants 24: Huddersfield blown away

Huddersfield Giants Dale Ferguson skips away from Warrington Wolves' Trent Waterhouse to score a try. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Huddersfield Giants Dale Ferguson skips away from Warrington Wolves' Trent Waterhouse to score a try. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Have your say

Holders Warrington are 80 minutes away from a fourth Wembley appearance in five years after demolishing Huddersfield in their Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wolves never looked back after running in four tries in a 15-minute spell to lead 20-0, with veteran full-back Brett Hodgson once more proving the scourge of his old club.

The Giants briefly hit back to cut the gap to eight points but tries either side of half-time by winger Joel Monaghan put the result beyond doubt as Warrington ruthlessly punished a string of handling errors from their careless visitors.

Huddersfield have managed to beat all the leading teams in Super League this year apart from the Wolves and today’s eighth successive defeat against their nemesis will force them to put all their energy into reaching a first Grand Final if they are to end a 50-year wait for major silverware.

The Warrington forwards were quickly into the ascendancy to give half-backs Lee Briers and Stefan Ratchford the space to torment the Giants defence with their clever kicking game.

It was from a training-ground move that the Wolves opened the scoring, England second rower Ben Westwood taking a return pass from Briers to get prop Paul Wood romping over for the first of their eight tries.

Handling errors from Craig Kopczak and Shaun Lunt inside their own half enabled the home side to keep the pressure on and they extended their lead when Ratchford’s neatly-timed pass got second rower Trent Waterhouse over for a second try.

Ever-dangerous hooker Mickey Higham then burrowed his way over from dummy half and centre Simon Grix carved out an opening for winger Chris Riley to go over for his side’s fourth try to make it 20-0 after only 25 minutes.

The introduction of towering prop Eorl Crabtree injected new life into the visitors and, when he was brought down just short of the line from a trademark burst, Lunt forced his way over from dummy half.

That re-invigorated Huddersfield and, after centre Joe Wardle had been held short, second rower Dale Ferguson took Luke Robinson’s pass to tear into space and he ran over Hodgson to claim a second try.

Danny Brough added both conversions to make it 20-12 but Warrington pulled away with two tries from Monaghan either side of half-time.

They crucially broke away to score two minutes before the break, with Hodgson combining with centre Chris Bridge to get his winger over by the posts, and Bridge then produced a delicate pass to send his man over for his second within five minutes of the re-start.

That came after a knock-on by winger Jermaine McGillvary inside his own 20-metre area and Huddersfield’s afternoon worsened when Lunt hobbled off.

Hodgson, sporting a bandage to stem the flow of blood from a head wound, kicked his fourth goal to restore his side’s 20-point lead and there was no way back for the Giants when Briers collected his own grubber kick to score a seventh try.

Prop Garreth Carvell added another on 57 minutes after taking Hodgson’s pass and bouncing off full-back Scott Grix and Hodgson took his goal tally to six from eight attempts.

Huddersfield were a well-beaten side but they at least finished the game with a flourish with two tries in the last six minutes.

McGillvary collected Brough’s crossfield high kick to touch down and full-back Grix sliced through the tiring Warrington defence for the Giants’ fourth try, with Brough kicking his fourth goal.