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Super League: Warrington Wolves maul Huddersfield Giants
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Stefan Ratchford scored two tries as Warrington moved into second place in the Super League table with a 28-2 win over leaders Huddersfield.
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.
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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 16 - 58 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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