Super League: Huddersfield Giants back on top of table after holding off Wakefield Wildcats comeback
Last Updated: 24/02/13 6:35pm
Jermaine McGillvary's hat-trick enabled Huddersfield to stay top of Super League, but only a disallowed try in the last minute ensured they retained their 100 per cent record with an 18-16 win at Wakefield Wildcats.
The Wildcats trailed throughout the match but, after coming from 18-8 down to cut the deficit to two points, thought they had snatched victory when centre Lee Smith went over for a try, only to have it disallowed for a forward pass.
The Giants could hardly have made a better start, with McGillvary scoring two tries in the first eight minutes after stand-off Danny Brough and wing Aaron Murphy, both former Wakefield players, had counter-attacked with devastating effect from their own quarter.
McGillvary took Luke Robinson's cut-out pass to cross unopposed for his first score and then won the race to Scott Grix's grubber kick to the line. Brough was wide with both conversion attempts and the slow-starting Wildcats gradually clawed their way back to parity.
Full-back Richard Mathers took advantage of second rower Ali Lauitiiti's offload to get winger Peter Fox over for a 13th-minute try and Paul Sykes added the conversion before putting over a penalty eight minutes before half-time to tie the scores.
Huddersfield missed a scoring chance when hooker Shaun Lunt knocked on over the line, but they turned around 12-8 in front thanks to a couple of penalties by Brough as he made amends for his earlier misses.
The Giants always looked the more enterprising team and they duly extended their lead four minutes into the second half. Grix burst clear from David Faiumu's defence-splitting pass and, although Fox got back to haul down Brough, the Wakefield defence could not regroup in time to prevent McGillvary taking Robinson's long pass to complete his hat-trick.
The powerful winger was forced out of the action on 55 minutes after being hurt attempting a tackle on Wakefield's dangerous Ben Cockayne.
Brough's third goal made it 18-8 but the visitors spent most of the second half on the defensive.
Wakefield had plenty of possession but their handling too often let them down and they struggled to break down the best defence in Super League until Australian centre Dean Collis broke from deep inside his own half.
Mathers was hauled down 20 metres out after taking Collis' inside pass but, from the next play, Cockayne found space out on the flank and centre Lee Smith touched down his kick to the line.
That cut Huddersfield's lead to 18-12 and it was down to just two points eight minutes from the end when Tim Smith's long pass was deflected by defender Leroy Cudjoe into the grateful arms of Cockayne, who scored his sixth try of the season.
Sykes was again off target with the conversion but Wakefield thought they had snatched victory in the final minute when Lee Smith took Tim Smith's short pass, but referee Richard Silverwood ruled it forward.
First Utility Super League
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8s
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8s
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8s
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2013, round four
The World Club Challenge took centre stage over the weekend with champions Leeds taking on Melbourne.
Salford City Reds finally managed their first win of the season, with a thrilling comeback against Hull KR.
A Gareth O'Brien drop goal rescued a point for Castleford as they drew 17-17 with Catalan Dragons.