Super League: Warrington Wolves maul Huddersfield Giants
Stefan Ratchford scored two tries as Warrington moved into second place with a 28-2 win over leaders Huddersfield.
Last Updated: 22/03/13 10:02pm
It was just the Giants' second defeat of the season and they remain a point clear at the top, despite managing only a ninth-minute Danny Brough penalty at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Both teams deserve enormous credit for defying atrocious conditions to produce an entertaining game for the crowd of 9,797, but the Wolves took the spoils thanks largely to a magnificent defensive effort which kept the table-toppers try-less for the first time this year.
Brough edged the Giants ahead amid driving snow, but Warrington were always the more adventurous side and they fully deserved their 14-2 interval lead.
They scored their first try midway through the first half when full-back Brett Hodgson's long pass exposed a gap on the Huddersfield flank and gave winger Chris Riley an unopposed run to the line.
Hodgson kicked the touchline conversion and increased his side's lead with a 29th-minute penalty before the home side put together the best move of the match to score their second try.
Centre Ryan Atkins scythed through the heart of the visitors' defence on halfway and Chris Bridge backed him up before sending Ratchford over for his first try, which Hodgson converted.
Hodgson again punished Huddersfield's indiscipline with a second penalty 90 seconds into the second half to make it 16-2 and Warrington tightened their grip midway through the second half when Ratchford went over again.
The Giants looked to have diffused the danger caused by Richie Myler's grubber kick on the last tackle, but defender Aaron Murphy succeeded only in palming the ball into the grateful arms of Ratchford.
As the Wolves piled on the pressure, back rower Simon Grix was denied a try for obstruction but there was no stopping Hodgson on 68 minutes when he finished off some slick passing by Micky Higham and Myler.
Hodgson converted his own try to take his goal tally to six from as many attempts.