Giants thrown to the Wolves
Warrington punish Huddersfield mistakes to reach Challenge Cup Final
By Rebecca Stephenson (Folow me @1rebs). Last Updated: 15/07/12 8:58pm
Brett Hodgson put in a man of the match performance as Warrington reached their third Challenge Cup final in the space of four years, beating Huddersfield 33-6 at The City of Salford Stadium.
The full-back racked up a personal points tally of 17; claiming a try, six goals and a drop goal as the Wolves ran in five tries through five different scorers.
They will now face Leeds at Wembley on 25th August in a repeat of the 2010 showpiece, when the Wolves returned with the trophy after a 30 points to six win.
But Huddersfield will rue the numerous handling errors that gifted their opponents a territorial advantage they exploited with tenacious ferocity.
The Giants opened the scoring after nine minutes. A magnificent 40-20 from Danny Brough preceded a break from David Faalogo, who cleverly offloading to Scott Moore who grabbed the touch down.
But the score was against the run of play and Warrington took just 6 minutes top level the scores when Gareth Carvell was judged to have scrambled over in one movement by the video referee.
Wolves were dominating proceedings, with Huddersfield looking for quick breaks, and they almost retook the lead when David Faalogo broke clear but dropped the ball.
It was to be the start of the match's running theme as Huddersfield's handling errors continued.
They were soon to be punished, Ryan Atkins capitalising after a Scott Grix misjudged a high ball. Brett Hodgson added the extras with a fantastic conversion from the touchline to give Wolves a 12-6 lead after 25 minutes.
The high ball was causing huge confusion in the Giants defence, and just four minutes later Grix repeated his mistake, this time gifting Joel Monaghan four points. It was followed by another superb touchline conversion from Hodgson to make it 18-6.
Huddersfield had won just once since qualifying for the semi-final over two months ago and their poor confidence was showing, as they appeared to buckle under the constant pressure.
And it seemed that Warrington had learned from Wigan's failure of 24 hours earlier, refusing to rely on their favourites tag to pull them through, instead punishing the Giants errors at every opportunity.
No doubt fuelled by some harsh words from Coach Nathan Brown, Huddersfield started the second half with a fresh belief, and almost forced their way over the Wolves try line twice.
They were only denied by some superb Warrington defending, as first Robinson and then Cudjoe were prevented from grounding the ball.
But it wasn't long before the mistakes were undermining the Huddersfield cause again. First, another high kick was fumbled by Aaron Murphy and just 2 minutes later a high tackle on Adrian Morley was punished to the full.
A tap on the 20-metre line led to a quick passing move that allowed Hodgson claim a deserved try - one that he again converted with deadly accuracy to give them an 18-point lead with just 20 minutes to play.
Hodgson then put the result beyond even the most miraculous comeback, grabbing a drop-goal after 67 minutes, before converting a penalty.
And Stefan Ratchford put the icing on the cake, going on a mazy run to claim the Wolves fifth try, which was duly converted by the superb Hodgson who took his own personal points tally to 17.
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
Fri 15th May - Sixth Round
Dewsbury Rams0 - 0Warrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0York
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sat 16th May - Sixth Round
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sun 17th May - Sixth Round
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leigh Centurions
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Batley Bulldogs