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Super League: Huddersfield Giants see off Wakefield Wildcats
Huddersfield dented Wakefield's play-off hopes with a 36-18 victory - the Wildcats' first home defeat under coach James Webster.
Huddersfield raced into a 32-0 lead and although Wakefield produced a spirited revival, defeat leaves them four points behind eighth-placed Widnes with four games left of the regular season.
Huddersfield, with former England hooker Shaun Lunt in impressive form on his return from a two-month injury lay-off, were dominant from the start, despite the late withdrawal of winger Jodie Broughton and prop Antonio Kaufusi.
Jarrod Sammut conceded a penalty from the kick-off by putting the ball straight into touch and the visitors scored inside their first set, with half-backs Luke Robinson and Danny Brough working the ball out wide for centre Joe Wardle to touch down for the first of their six tries before the break.
Brough disputed referee James Child's decision to disallow his conversion, after the two touchjudges came to different conclusions over the accuracy of the kick, but it hardly mattered as Huddersfield went on to win at a canter.
Lunt made his first impact on nine minutes when his short pass got prop Eorl Crabtree charging over for the Giants' second try and it was all Huddersfield as winger Jermaine McGillvary was denied by Paul Sykes' last-ditch tackle and front rower Anthony Mullally was held up over the line.
There was no respite for the Wildcats when Mullally went off as a barnstorming run from his replacement Craig Kopczak created the position for Lunt to force his way over from dummy half before taking Lunt's pass to cross himself.
Lunt went off for a well-earned breather on 28 minutes and his replacement, teenager Kruise Leeming, was quickly into the action, taking Robinson's pass to score his first try of the season after Sammut had dropped Brough's high kick.
Wakefield spent virtually the whole of the first 40 minutes inside their own half and, on a rare foray near the visitors' line, spilled ball and watched McGillvary sprint 95 metres for an opportunist 18th try of the season.
Leading 32-0 at the break, it was always going to be difficult for the Giants to maintain their sparkling form and the Wildcats, boosted by the arrival from the bench of forwards Ali Lauitiiti and Taulima Tautai, enjoyed a good deal more possession to enable them to redeem themselves.
Sammut scored one try four minutes into the second half, which he converted, looked to have added another only to be pulled back for a forward pass and was then held up over the line.
Wildcats' pressure eventually told when hooker Paul McShane got stand-off Sykes through a yawning gap in the Huddersfield defence and Sammut kicked his second goal.
It was a far more even contest in the second half, with the Giants scoring their only other try through teenager Jake Connor, who switched from the wing to full-back in the absence of Scott Grix for the second half.
The Wildcats were well beaten but they had the final say when second rower Danny Kirmond got out an offload that enabled Sammut to score his second try and he also kicked his third goal.
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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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