Super League: Huddersfield Giants back on top of table after holding off Wakefield Wildcats comeback
Last Updated: 24/02/13 6:35pm
Jermaine McGillvary's hat-trick enabled Huddersfield to stay top of Super League, but only a disallowed try in the last minute ensured they retained their 100 per cent record with an 18-16 win at Wakefield Wildcats.
The Wildcats trailed throughout the match but, after coming from 18-8 down to cut the deficit to two points, thought they had snatched victory when centre Lee Smith went over for a try, only to have it disallowed for a forward pass.
The Giants could hardly have made a better start, with McGillvary scoring two tries in the first eight minutes after stand-off Danny Brough and wing Aaron Murphy, both former Wakefield players, had counter-attacked with devastating effect from their own quarter.
McGillvary took Luke Robinson's cut-out pass to cross unopposed for his first score and then won the race to Scott Grix's grubber kick to the line. Brough was wide with both conversion attempts and the slow-starting Wildcats gradually clawed their way back to parity.
Full-back Richard Mathers took advantage of second rower Ali Lauitiiti's offload to get winger Peter Fox over for a 13th-minute try and Paul Sykes added the conversion before putting over a penalty eight minutes before half-time to tie the scores.
Huddersfield missed a scoring chance when hooker Shaun Lunt knocked on over the line, but they turned around 12-8 in front thanks to a couple of penalties by Brough as he made amends for his earlier misses.
The Giants always looked the more enterprising team and they duly extended their lead four minutes into the second half. Grix burst clear from David Faiumu's defence-splitting pass and, although Fox got back to haul down Brough, the Wakefield defence could not regroup in time to prevent McGillvary taking Robinson's long pass to complete his hat-trick.
The powerful winger was forced out of the action on 55 minutes after being hurt attempting a tackle on Wakefield's dangerous Ben Cockayne.
Brough's third goal made it 18-8 but the visitors spent most of the second half on the defensive.
Wakefield had plenty of possession but their handling too often let them down and they struggled to break down the best defence in Super League until Australian centre Dean Collis broke from deep inside his own half.
Mathers was hauled down 20 metres out after taking Collis' inside pass but, from the next play, Cockayne found space out on the flank and centre Lee Smith touched down his kick to the line.
That cut Huddersfield's lead to 18-12 and it was down to just two points eight minutes from the end when Tim Smith's long pass was deflected by defender Leroy Cudjoe into the grateful arms of Cockayne, who scored his sixth try of the season.
Sykes was again off target with the conversion but Wakefield thought they had snatched victory in the final minute when Lee Smith took Tim Smith's short pass, but referee Richard Silverwood ruled it forward.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, round four
The World Club Challenge took centre stage over the weekend with champions Leeds taking on Melbourne.
Salford City Reds finally managed their first win of the season, with a thrilling comeback against Hull KR.
A Gareth O'Brien drop goal rescued a point for Castleford as they drew 17-17 with Catalan Dragons.