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Warriors win 12-try thriller
Hodgson scores a hat-trick but ends up on the losing side
A David Hodgson hat-trick failed to prevent Huddersfield from going down 38-30 to Wigan in an engage Super League thriller.
The Warriors prevailed in a see-saw encounter that saw both teams cross on six occasions, Pat Richards' unerring kicking being the difference between the two sides.
Huddersfield at least redeemed themselves following their humiliating 60-4 Challenge Cup defeat by Warrington, matching their opponents try-for-try and leading on two occasions.
Tempers were never far from boiling point following pre-match comments from Giants coach Nathan Brown, with Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin tactfully withdrawn at one point.
Warriors did have to overcome two sin-binnings - two-try scorer Joel Tomkins paying the price for a series of play-the-ball infringements on 23 minutes and prop Andy Coley, who was shown yellow for a professional foul after 52 minutes.
Giants scored each time they were reduced to 12 men, but Brown's side had got off to the worst possible start when Danny Brough's kick-off went dead, gifting perfect attacking position from which Wigan opened the scoring.
Tomkins was first to pounce on Thomas Leuluai's kick and shortly afterwards Karl Pryce set up centre George Carmont for the second with an explosive burst.
But Huddersfield revealed spirit that was lacking a week ago, captain Brett Hodgson inspirational as they fought back to lead 20-12.
The full-back produced cut-out passes to get wingers Leroy Cudjoe and namesake David in for tries, before combining with Brough and Paul Whatuira in a sweeping move to get Hodgson in for his second on 33 minutes.
Whatuira also crossed and Giants were good value for the lead but they lost control of the game in a 12-minute spell either side of half-time.
Winger Darrell Goulding grabbed his 13th try of the season just before the break, courtesy of a flicked pass from Tomkins, who brushed off the challenge of Whatuira to touch down for his second of the match four minutes after the re-start.
When Coley forced his way over for a close-range try on 48 minutes and Richards kicked his fifth goal to make it 30-20, there was a danger of the Giants once more collapsing.
But Coley became the second player to be sin-binned after holding down Brough and England prop Eorl Crabtree forced his way through the 12-man defence on the hour.
And the scores were level again four minutes later when Brough sent Hodgson over for his third try after setting up the position with a 40-20 kick.
Brett Hodgson was off target for the third time though and Wigan retook the lead when Richards and 19-year-old Stefan Marsh, preferred in the side to Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson, sent Goulding over for his second try of the match.
Huddersfield had what would have been an equalising try from Andy Raleigh disallowed for a double movement before Richards finally made sure of the victory with a last-minute penalty, shortly after being off target with a drop-goal attempt.
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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