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Super League: Huddersfield Giants beat Wakefield Wildcats to clinch top spot in table
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Huddersfield Giants secured the League Leaders' Shield with a 40-0 win over Wakefield Wildcats.
The Giants ran in seven tries, including two apiece for Jason Chan and Jermaine McGillvary, to ensure they will go into the Super League play-offs as top seeds.
Huddersfield, who last finished top of the league in 1932, became only the sixth winners of the shield and, after collecting their first silverware of the Super League era, will now go in search of their first championship triumph since 1962.
Wakefield, who gave a full debut to 20-year-old Bobbie Goulding, son of the former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half of the same name, never looked capable of spoiling the party.
They were without influential playmaker Tim Smith after he was sold to Salford to ease the club's financial problems and were outplayed in every department by their hosts.
With Giants skipper Danny Brough pulling the strings, they dominated the game from the start and were 12-0 up inside 12 minutes.
Second rower Chan scored the first of his two tries after only three minutes, seizing his chance after Shaun Lunt's squeezed pass short of the line caught the Wakefield defence napping.
Huddersfield exposed inexperienced centre Reece Lyne on the Wakefield left and, after he was withdrawn by coach Richard Agar, the Giants showed they were just as lethal down the other flank as second rower Brett Ferres took Luke Robinson's short pass to glide through for a second try.
The visitors were barely able to get out of their own half, thanks largely to Brough's wind-assisted kicking game, and it was no surprise when they fell further behind.
Ominous on either flank, the Giants were also dangerous through the middle and, after impressive starting props Craig Kopczak and Eorl Crabtree both went close to scoring, Chan took Lunt's pass from dummy half to go in for his second try.
Brough's third conversion made it 18-0, which was how it remained until half-time, and there was no let-up from the Giants in the second half.
A fumble by Wakefield's Lee Smith deep inside his own half gifted the Giants a perfect attacking position and Brough took Robinson's low pass to combine with Joe Wardle to get winger Aaron Murphy over for his 19th try of the season.
Brough was also the architect of the next try as his jinking run in midfield sucked in the Wakefield defence and enabled full-back Scott Grix, Chan and Leroy Cudjoe to get McGillvary over at the other corner.
Huddersfield continued to dominate but their finishing left something to be desired until McGillvary took Cudjoe's pass to score his second try.
And Lunt, who has played a crucial role in the Giants' successful season on his return form Leeds, put the seal on an impressive display with a last-minute try, with Brough kicking his sixth goal from seven attempts.Player Awards. Click here to bet.
First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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