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Super League play-offs: Huddersfield shocked by Wigan
- Crabtree: A Giant opening
- Morley expects exciting clash
- Wane: It was a great display
- Jones-Buchanan eyes hat trick
- Emotional loss for Dragons
- Marching on
- Smith delighted with Westwood
- Blake lively
Wigan put themselves in pole position to reach the Super League Grand Final after recording a shock 22-8 victory over table-toppers Huddersfield.
The Giants went into the clash on the back of finishing at the league summit for the first time since 1932 and made a dream start as Danny Brough ran in a brilliant solo try in the fourth minute at the John Smith's Stadium.
But the Challenge Cup winners, who finished fourth in the regular season, fought their way into the game and eventually took total control after a brace of tries from Josh Charnley and another from Blake Green.
The Warriors now need to win one more match to reach the Old Trafford showpiece, while Huddersfield's campaign will be on the line against the winner of one of the elimination play-offs next week.
Huddersfield did the double over Wigan in the regular season but Shaun Wane's side raised their game to leave the Giants' play-off record at two wins in 10 matches.
The 2010 champions were still without Sean O'Loughlin, Darrell Goulding and Ben Flower and made the worst possible start.
The Giants had forced two goal-line drop-outs, the second of which led to the opening try as Brough jinked his way through the Wigan defence to touch down by the posts.
Wigan's former rugby union star Andy Powell, starting only his second match since his cross-code switch, was withdrawn after 14 minutes against Leeds a week ago and he was pulled out of the firing line after only nine minutes this time.
The kicking game was always going to be crucial in the conditions and Wigan worked their way back into the game on the back of two goal-line drop-outs forced by stand-off Green.
The pressure told on 23 minutes when centre Anthony Gelling released Charnley and he rounded centre Joe Wardle to claim his 40th try of the season - the first time that tally has ever been reached in the Super League era.
Pat Richards levelled the scores with a touchline conversion and edged his side in front with a penalty from the halfway line after Huddersfield's re-start went out on the full.
Brough tied the scores with a long-range penalty just before half-time but the Warriors were back in front 12 minutes into the second half when Sam Tomkins' long pass created an overlap for Charnley to touch down.
Richards maintained his accuracy to put his side six points in front and scrum-half Matty Smith put them two scores up with a 65th-minute drop goal, moments after seeing an effort charged down.
Green then put the seal on Wigan's win by weaving his way through a tiring defence for a third try and Richards kicked his fourth goal before Smith rounded off the scoring with a audacious second drop goal.
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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes Vikings vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 58 - 16 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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