Huddersfield 22-38 Wigan: Warriors make it three wins in a row
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/06/19 11:50pm
Wigan continued their mid-season revival with a 38-22 triumph over Huddersfield - a third successive win that takes them to within two points of fourth-place Catalans Dragons.
The reigning champions held a narrow 18-12 interval lead at the John Smith's Stadium but dominated the second half to condemn their hosts to a third successive defeat.
The Giants, who won 14-6 at the DW Stadium earlier in the season, trailed 38-12 at one stage before staging a late rally that produced two consolation tries and gave them a flattering margin of defeat.
The Yorkshiremen, who had designs on a top-five place only a month ago, are now in serious relegation trouble, just two points above bottom club Hull KR.
The Warriors' future looks bright with a crop of promising youngsters such as Morgan Smithies, but the first half illustrated just how much they still rely on captain Sean O'Loughlin.
The 36-year-old loose forward sent centre Chris Hankinson through a gap in the home defence for the game's first try and went over himself from first receiver on 17 minutes, both times after Wigan ran the ball on the last tackle.
O'Loughlin's England team-mate George Williams created Wigan's other first-half try, pulling the Giants defence out of position for Hankinson to get winger Liam Marshall over wide out.
Hankinson kicked all three conversions to make it 18-6 but Huddersfield's Australian scrum-half Matt Frawley dummied his way over for a try for the hosts five minutes before half time, adding to substitute Sam Hewitt's 12th-minute touchdown.
Williams was off target with a long-range drop goal on the stroke of half time but it took the visitors only four minutes of the second half to extend their lead, winger Joe Burgess making full use of a cleverly-worked overlap to score their fourth try.
Hankinson, who kicked five goals from as many attempts in his first match as marksman in the win at Leeds a week earlier, was off target for the first time with the touchline conversion but made amends shortly afterwards with a penalty to make it 24-12.
And there was no way back for Huddersfield when they stood off full-back Zak Hardaker as he ran the ball on the last tackle and got evergreen scrum-half Thomas Leuluai charging over for a try.
The Giants had a try by forward Ukuma Ta'ai disallowed for a double movement and their suspect defence cracked again on 65 minutes when Williams jinked his way over for his side's sixth try.
Huddersfield finished a badly-beaten side but managed two further tries in the last eight minutes through right winger Louis Senior and centre Jordan Turner as Wigan relaxed their grip on the game.
Both sides finished with 12 men when Ta'ai and Wigan second rower Willie Isa were shown yellow cards after coming to blows.