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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Wigan's former rugby union star Andy Powell, starting only his second match since his cross-code switch, was withdrawn after 14 minutes against Leeds a week ago and he was pulled out of the firing line after only nine minutes this time.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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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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