FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

Pictures by Mike Boden

FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 24 Huddersfield Giants 24

First published in Sport
Last updated
Warrington Guardian: by , Sports Editor

A REMARKABLE match of play-offs intensity eventually ended in a draw at The Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight.

Wolves had been trailing 23-6 at the 57th minute mark but a stunning fightback that included two tries from Ben Harrison saw them go one point ahead with 13 minutes remaining.

Then it was a frantic finale, both sides giving their all to win the game that would keep alive their hopes of a top-place finish in the Super League ladder.

Rhys Evans’ spectacular dive into the corner almost sealed it for Wolves, but the Wales international lost the ball in the process under pressure of two defenders and landed badly – leaving a long delay while the winger received treatment.

Evans eventually left the field on a stretcher with six minutes remaining.

No further try-scoring chances came, although Wolves turned down a penalty shot from in front of the posts, but the drama was not over.

With 36 seconds left on the clock, Brough banged over his second drop goal that would clinch a draw.

A voluntary tackle by a Huddersfield player in the final second, not punished by referee Ben Thaler, completed an incident-packed 100 minutes of rugby league, taking into account added time for injuries and video referee decisions.

A Huddersfield points rally of 23 points in 22 minutes either side of half time had put the visitors in command.

Eighteen of those points had come in a nine minutes purple patch in the first period after Wolves had taken a 6-0 lead.

But misfortune and errors, not helped by Thaler’s leniency with lying on and offsides at the play-the-ball, then proved costly for Wolves.

Tony Smith’s men seemed to have had the better of the opening arm wrestle, including Richie Myler having a try ruled out for a knock-on.

They gave Giants’ forwards a grilling down the middle in the opening 20 minutes and it eventually paid dividends.

Matty Russell’s grubber kick forced a repeat set and on the last tackle Gareth O’Brien attacked the line from second receiver and managed to twist his way over.

He also landed the kick to make it 6-0 after 23 minutes.

Giants’ response was swift on the back of a penalty for interference.

Danny Brough’s grubber kick had the sting taken out of it by Michael Monaghan’s attempted pick-up but the ball fell kindly for Chris Bailey to get the touch ahead of Russell. Brough’s extras made it 6-6 after 27 minutes but that was just the prelude in a Giants points spree.

A Trent Waterhouse knock-on deep inside his own territory and then Chris Hill’s charge-down on his own 10-metre line paved the way for powerful Ukuma Tai’ai to surge over from short range off Shaun Lunt’s pass.

Brough’s improvement took Huddersfield to 12-6 and Wolves continued to live dangerously, O’Brien rescuing a clearance over the dead-ball line as McGillvary chased his own dab ahead.

And after the drop-out a deflection gave Giants another six tackles and again they cashed in, Lunt wrestling his way out of Paul Wood’s grasp to touch down close enough to the sticks to give Brough another simple conversion attempt.

From that third try in nine minutes Wolves needed a response and a penalty for obstruction piggy-backed them to the other end but James Laithwaite could not take Micky Higham’s delayed pass cleanly and a chance went begging.

Evans escorted McGillvary into touch after Huddersfield worked another opening down the right as the first half entered its closing stages.

A clever kick ahead for Joel Monaghan bounced unkindly and a last set for Huddersfield in the first period ended with Lunt’s break working a position for Brough to land a 30-metre drop goal with 30 seconds left on the clock.

The second half started disastrously, with Wolves being punished for a poor finish to a set.

A blind offload from Westwood eventually reached Myler who did well to get in a kick but the chase lacked urgency. Lunt slipped Myler’s challenge and broke clear before skilfully handing out of a tackle for speed merchant Jodie Broughton to race home from 80 metres.

Although Brough fluffed the goal shot Giants were 23-6 to the good three minutes into the second half.

Handling errors put Wolves under a period of pressure but a relieving penalty after interference on Westwood breathed new hope into a contest that had looked over.

From the first threatening Wolves attack of the second half, O’Brien’s smart little grubber was perfect for Ryan Atkins to pounce. O’Brien’s extras left Wolves 11 points adrift after 57 minutes.

The return of Michael Monaghan off the bench brought extra spark to Wolves and they soon got over again.

A last-tackle play through O’Brien’s hands ended with Ben Harrison swatting off two defenders and charging over in the 63rd minute. O’Brien’s conversion cut the gap to five points.

The Halliwell Jones Stadium crowd was suddenly alive and excited and the Wolves players responded to it, throwing everything at the Huddersfield line.

Harrison then battled his way over for a second try from a brutal first-receiver drive to the line in the 68th minute, the drama of the video referee equipment breaking down and stalling the decision for three minutes just adding to the tension.

All of a sudden, with O’Brien’s conversion, Wolves were back in front at 24-23 and all the momentum was with them.

Evans’ close call in the corner and the resulting eight-minute delay for his treatment took some sting out of the frantic finish, with both teams recovering some composure.

Brough’s late one-pointer ensured the spoils were shared at the end of a thrilling contest.

Wolves: Matty Russell; Gene Ormsby, Joel Monaghan, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Evans; Gareth O’Brien, Richie Myler; Chris Hill, Michael Monaghan, Ben Harrison, Ben Westwood, Trent Waterhouse, Simon Grix. Subs: Micky Higham, Paul Wood, James Laithwaite, Anthony England.

Giants: Scott Grix; Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Aaron Murphy, Jodie Broughton; Danny Brough, Luke Robinson; Eorl Crabtree, Shaun Lunt, Antonio Kaufusi, Larne Patrick, Michael Lawrence, Chris Bailey. Subs: Craig Kopczak, David Faiumu, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jacob Fairbank.

Referee: Ben Thaler

Comments (9)

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8:23am Fri 29 Aug 14

ninearches says...

Top of Tony Smith's "to do list" should be to steer the team away from the age old problem of putting itself under pressure with unnecessary passes & panic rugby....if there is a Plan B let the team have a read of it.
We saw it against Leeds ,Cas & again last night ....silly ,impetuous play which made us have to chase the game again.
Top of Tony Smith's "to do list" should be to steer the team away from the age old problem of putting itself under pressure with unnecessary passes & panic rugby....if there is a Plan B let the team have a read of it. We saw it against Leeds ,Cas & again last night ....silly ,impetuous play which made us have to chase the game again. ninearches
  • Score: 7

9:11am Fri 29 Aug 14

Ali'sboardnow says...

Top of Mr Smith's list should be THINK !!! - in a tight and close game you take every point i.e. The penalty kick for two just before the bad injury to Evans would have settled the game and from a kick you get the ball back to try again.
Top of Mr Smith's list should be THINK !!! - in a tight and close game you take every point i.e. The penalty kick for two just before the bad injury to Evans would have settled the game and from a kick you get the ball back to try again. Ali'sboardnow
  • Score: 19

10:57am Fri 29 Aug 14

suttonwire says...

Top of Tony Smiths list should be a playmaker, someone who can dictate the play. This is an area we have been lacking all season, Monas is going and Clarks coming in but that is not solving the problem in the halves. Watch the Aussie games and see the difference in play. by the likes of Thurston, Cronk etc they are in a different class. The available talent in the Super League is a bit thin on the ground at present so we must look elsewhere if we hope to compete next season.
Top of Tony Smiths list should be a playmaker, someone who can dictate the play. This is an area we have been lacking all season, Monas is going and Clarks coming in but that is not solving the problem in the halves. Watch the Aussie games and see the difference in play. by the likes of Thurston, Cronk etc they are in a different class. The available talent in the Super League is a bit thin on the ground at present so we must look elsewhere if we hope to compete next season. suttonwire
  • Score: 6

11:11am Fri 29 Aug 14

wolfitdown says...

Three spot on posts we witnessed the good, the bad, the ugly and then thankfully the good returned, had wire cut out those needless passes they would have secured a victory, OK TS states there were mitigating circumstances pre match fair enough, but we need another quality half back.
Three spot on posts we witnessed the good, the bad, the ugly and then thankfully the good returned, had wire cut out those needless passes they would have secured a victory, OK TS states there were mitigating circumstances pre match fair enough, but we need another quality half back. wolfitdown
  • Score: 4

1:57pm Fri 29 Aug 14

ninearches says...

I think maybe the two point penalty when it was on offer would have made more sense too & given us a three point lead.
I think maybe the two point penalty when it was on offer would have made more sense too & given us a three point lead. ninearches
  • Score: 4

3:20pm Fri 29 Aug 14

realistic southstander says...

Talking of Cooper Cronk , his name has been linked with a move to us next year. Also neither Myler nor O'Brien are keen to put pen to paper and for me Myler can go now.
He looked totally disinterested last night and young Declan Patton would do a better job. Let Salford get the cheque book out!
P.S. They could also be tempted with Asostasi.....buy one get one free.
Talking of Cooper Cronk , his name has been linked with a move to us next year. Also neither Myler nor O'Brien are keen to put pen to paper and for me Myler can go now. He looked totally disinterested last night and young Declan Patton would do a better job. Let Salford get the cheque book out! P.S. They could also be tempted with Asostasi.....buy one get one free. realistic southstander
  • Score: 5

3:51pm Fri 29 Aug 14

ninearches says...

You do have to ask though, has the constant tinkering with the team unsettled some players & reduced their confidence levels. If a player feels he doesn't have the confidence & support of his manager it will affect performances especially if the player thinks he is only a stop gap anyway.
You do have to ask though, has the constant tinkering with the team unsettled some players & reduced their confidence levels. If a player feels he doesn't have the confidence & support of his manager it will affect performances especially if the player thinks he is only a stop gap anyway. ninearches
  • Score: 2

4:41am Sat 30 Aug 14

pennstate says...

I was sat in a bar in Niagara Falls listening to the commentary last night. It was clear our success is based on sheer determination as shown by Benny Harrison. I rarely heard mention of Westwood or Myler, but Obrien appeared to be doing all he could. It is so obvious we need a half back and a player to think and direct. I am past caring about TS post match comments which may as well be played on a loop. As nine says if you keep tinkering with positions and drop any youngster who has a bad game we will never develp a leader from our pack. TS can get the best out of established stars but his youth development plan aint working!
I was sat in a bar in Niagara Falls listening to the commentary last night. It was clear our success is based on sheer determination as shown by Benny Harrison. I rarely heard mention of Westwood or Myler, but Obrien appeared to be doing all he could. It is so obvious we need a half back and a player to think and direct. I am past caring about TS post match comments which may as well be played on a loop. As nine says if you keep tinkering with positions and drop any youngster who has a bad game we will never develp a leader from our pack. TS can get the best out of established stars but his youth development plan aint working! pennstate
  • Score: 6

12:30pm Sat 30 Aug 14

wolfitdown says...

I think TS has had no other choice than to tinker with the halves as none particularly work well as a pair, either this should have been sorted pre season or his hands were tied by having to wait for his preferred signing, agree with nine too much tinkering must impact on players self belief.
I think TS has had no other choice than to tinker with the halves as none particularly work well as a pair, either this should have been sorted pre season or his hands were tied by having to wait for his preferred signing, agree with nine too much tinkering must impact on players self belief. wolfitdown
  • Score: 2

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