Huddersfield 20-12 Wigan: Giants notch Super League win over Warriors to maintain good form
Last Updated: 12/07/18 11:09pm
Huddersfield took another giant step towards Super League safety with a hugely-impressive 20-12 win over second-placed Wigan at the John Smith's Stadium on Thursday.
Left-wing Darnell McIntosh scored two tries for the second successive week to earn his side's man-of-the-match award as the Giants cruised to a seventh win in their last eight matches to climb to sixth in the table.
It was Huddersfield's first win over Wigan in 12 attempts and would have been even more emphatic but for an off day with the boot by Danny Brough, who missed with all four conversion attempts.
However, Brough managed a couple of penalties and brought his game management skills to the fore to help his side tighten their grip in the second half, especially while down to 12 men with the sin-binning of Michael Lawrence.
Wigan, who gave a debut to Kinshasa-born prop Samy Kibula, scored first and last but in between were outplayed by more enthusiastic and determined opponents fighting for their Super League lives.
The visitors took the lead in fortuitous fashion, full-back Sam Tomkins regathering the ball from winger Liam Marshall's kick and touching down despite a knock-on in the build-up missed by both touch judge James Child and referee Gareth Hewer.
Tomkins converted his own try to make it 6-0 but Wigan were well off the pace for most of the first half and inventive Huddersfield deservedly led 12-6 at the break.
McIntosh leapt above his opposite number Tom Davies to pluck the ball out of the air from Lee Gaskell's high kick to grab his first try and hooker Adam O'Brien squeezed a pass out of the tackle to get second rower Alex Mellor over.
Brough was unable to convert either try but punished Wigan's indiscipline with two penalty goals to kick his side into a six-point interval lead, which they extended within two minutes of the re-start.
The Giants were gifted possession from a knock-on by replacement full-back Morgan Escare inside his own 20-metre area and, from the resultant scrum, recalled full-back Jake Mamo worked McIntosh over for his second try.
Brough was again off target with his conversion attempt but the home side continued to look the more lively team.
Wigan could make little headway against stubborn opponents and failed to make use of a 40-20 kick by Josh Woods or the sin-binning of Lawrence for preventing the stand-off from taking a quick tap.
The Giants not only defended superbly while down to 12 men but increased their lead when captain Leroy Cudjoe touched down Brough's grubber kick.
Wigan lost their composure as they chased the game but had the consolation of wrapping up the scoring when Tomkins got Davies over for their second try six minutes from the end and kicked the conversion.