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Super League: Wigan Warriors 22-12 Huddersfield Giants – Cherry & Whites maintain winning start

Liam Farrell scored twice, just operating off the shoulder on the left edge
Wigan (16)
tries: Farrell 2, Bibby, Bateman goals: Hardaker 3
Huddersfield (6)
tries: McQueen, Lolohea goals: pryce 2

Wigan maintained their perfect start to the Super League season with a third straight victory, beating Huddersfield, whose own 100% run ended.

The hosts took control of the first period with a Liam Farrell brace and Jake Bibby’s score, with Chris McQueen replying for the Giants.

Tui Lolohea’s try reduced the deficit after half-time, but John Bateman’s finish restored the buffer.

Giants plugged away doggedly, but Wigan did enough to keep them at bay and win.

There was a poignant, perfectly observed, minute’s silence for the late Va’aiga Tuigamala, who died on Thursday at the age of 52, having been an explosive figure for Wigan during their mid-1990s heyday.

Cherry and White’s boss Matt Peet has enjoyed a honeymoon period since taking over, with two expansive and flamboyant victories to open up the season, but this win was a result built on character and a defensive mindset.

It didn’t start well for them – Cade Cust picked up a head knock and went off for a concussion assessment, prompting a switch, but it was still the warriors who pounced first when Farrell finished off good work by Kai Pearce-Paul and Tommy Leuluai to score.

McQueen powered across to continue his impressive scoring record with a fourth of the campaign already for Huddersfield, but the returning Cust found the supporting Farrell for his second.

Bibby sliced ​​through soon after to put the Warriors 10 points up at the break, and it was a buffer they maintained for the rest of the game.

Even when Tui Lolohea slipped in for Huddersfield, England international Bateman took a Sam Powell pass and speeded in to keep the lead up.

Ian Watson’s side blew away Toulouse and impressed against Hull KR, and their attacking weapons such as the returning Will Pryce, Lolohea and Olly Russell tried to prompt and probe.

But they were just unable to keep pace with the scoring, and fell to their first loss of the campaign.

Wigan head coach Matt Peet told BBC Radio Manchester:

“It was a tough win against a very tough team, and the sort of wins we’re going to have to keep producing when you play against teams like Huddersfield who challenge you in that way. I’m really pleased.

“I was really impressed with how the players adapted when Cade went of. We hadn’t even sent the message on for the players to make the changes; they got themselves into shape and continued to play, which is testament to the way they’ ve been practicing, and the trust they have in each other.

“That was about character and determination. Our leaders were outstanding. In times when we weren’t playing as slick as we have been, the commitment to each other was for all to see.”

Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson:

“I thought we competed really well for large parts of the game, but we just didn’t show enough resilience in the first half.

“We conceded a penalty coming out on the last tackle, then we defend goal-line and conceded straightaway. We then made an error out of yardage and conceded again. Our goal-line defense just wasn’t there and we conceded another to put us on the back foot.

“We worked really hard to get back in the game, we gave ourselves a shot, but then we bombed a couple of opportunities when we had them, knocked two on – get them and Wigan are in a real game.

“There are lots of positives, but we just need to be smarter because it’s fine margins.”

Wigan: fields; Hardaker, Bibby, Pearce-Paul, Marshall; Cust, Leuluai; Singleton, Powell, Ellis, Farrell, Bateman, Isa.

Interchanges: Mago, Smithies, Partington, Byrne.

Huddersfield: pryce; I. Senior, Leutele, Cudjoe, McGillvary; Lolohea, Russell; Hill, O’Brien, Trout, McQueen, Jones, Yates.

Interchanges: Golding, Greenwood, Ikahihifo, English.

Referee: Tom Grant (RFL)

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