Super League: Huddersfield return to form with win over Wigan
Last Updated: 29/05/14 11:59pm
Huddersfield overturned an early 12-point deficit to halt Wigan Warriors' fine run of form with a 31-22 success at the John Smith's Stadium.
Converted tries from Sean O'Loughlin and Matty Bowen put the visitors in control, but efforts from Aaron Murphy, Shaun Lunt and Joe Wardle turned things around.
Wardle added his second of the game before Danny Brough's drop-goal extended their advantage. Dom Manfredi pulled a try back, but Jermaine McGillvary's score settled the outcome.
Young winger Joe Burgess scored a try with the last move of the game. Matty Smith converted but the score was mere consolation for the champions.
Fit-again O'Loughlin, making just his sixth appearance of the year, opened the scoring when he took a smart offload from teenager Manfredi and went over.
Bowen added a second when he weaved his way through some weak tackling and with Smith converting both tries, Wigan were looking strong after 20 minutes.
Until this point there had been little sign of the reaction Anderson had demanded from last season's League Leaders' Shield winners after their capitulation against St Helens a week ago.
That began to change in the 23rd minute as playmaker Danny Brough picked out Murphy with a long pass and the winger finished out wide.
The Giants stepped up the momentum and Larne Patrick had an effort ruled out before a penalty close to the line created more pressure and Lunt crashed over.
Brough then instigated a pulsating passage of play by releasing Wardle, who was hauled down by Manfredi.
Brett Ferres picked up possession only to be denied by Burgess, but there was no denying Wardle a second time as he dived over from close range.
The crowd sensed another when Murphy broke into Wigan territory from deep inside his own half but the winger checked his run as Burgess tracked back and the pair clashed heads. Burgess recovered but Murphy was unable to continue.
Wigan looked to hit back early in the second half but the video referee ruled out a Burgess try for a knock-on.
Huddersfield's attack was starting to click and Ferres released Wardle to score his second try with a superb one-handed pass on halfway.
Brough added to his four earlier goals by landing a one-pointer but Wigan were not beaten and responded as Manfredi claimed a Smith kick to reduce the arrears to 25-16.
Wigan were threatening again when Burgess found space on the left but he opted to kick as he was closed down and failed to connect with the ball.
McGillvary swooped to seize possession and race away down the touchline for the try that put the game beyond Wigan's reach, with Brough adding a fifth conversion.
Burgess did cross in the dying moments but it came too late to affect the outcome.