Challenge Cup: Warrington 44-24 Huddersfield

Challenge Cup Highlights: Warrington 44-24 Huddersfield

Challenge Cup holders Warrington Wolves booked a semi-final tie with Hull FC after hammering Huddersfield.

The Wire raced into a 20-0 lead with tries from Paul Wood, Trent Waterhouse, Micky Higham and Chris Riley.

Shaun Lunt and Dale Ferguson replied, before Joel Monaghan stretched the hosts' advantage to 26-12 at half-time.

Monaghan, Lee Briers and Garreth Carvell crossed in the second half, while Jermaine McGillvary and Scott Grix added consolations for the Giants.

This tie, between two in-form teams currently lying second and third in Super League, was considered to be the pick of the four quarter-finals.

But Warrington proved far too strong for a Huddersfield side that had won seven of their previous eight games in all competitions before their humbling at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The damage was done during an opening 25 minutes in which the Wolves scored four unanswered tries.

Prop Wood collected Ben Westwood's excellent offload to touch down under the posts and give Warrington, Challenge Cup winners in three of the last four years, a deserved lead.

Second-rower Waterhouse added another soon afterwards, brushing off a tackle from Giants half-back Luke Robinson to score, before hooker Higham dived over from dummy-half.

And when Simon Grix was denied by a last-ditch tackle, he released Riley to go over in the corner.

Lunt's effort from close range offered some respite for the visitors, and when Ferguson powered over in the closing stages of the first half, Huddersfield sensed a comeback.

However, an expansive Warrington move on the stroke of half-time ended with Australian winger Monaghan cruising over to give the Wolves a 26-12 lead at the break.

Monaghan crossed again early in the second period, centre Chris Bridge with the assist, and Huddersfield's woes grew when Lunt - one of their star performers this season - limped off with an ankle problem.

The evergreen Briers produced a wonderful piece of skill to add the home side's seventh try, collecting his own kick to score, before Carvell drove over the line from 10 metres out.

Late tries from McGillvary and Grix added some respectability to the scoreline, but by then the outcome of the match and Warrington's place in the last four had been assured.


Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith:

"It was a good performance all round. I thought our defence was outstanding right from the off and we showed some good skill and scored some really good tries.

"We knew Huddersfield would have a real shot at it and we had plenty of people tell us that too so it fuelled the fire.

"We did a pretty good job for most of it. There was a period when we got a bit sloppy but I like the way we responded."

Huddersfield Giants head coach Paul Anderson:

"We never gave ourselves a chance. When you play good teams, you have to play well but we saved our worst for the best.

"At the start of the game we completed three out of 12 sets and found ourselves 20-0 down.

"I still felt we could compete and get ourselves back in, but the first time we got in a position to score we dropped the ball.

"We got taught a real lesson of intent today. It's a simple game and they ran harder than we did."


Warrington: Hodgson; J. Monaghan, Bridge, Grix, C. Riley; Briers, Ratchford; Wood, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Cooper.

Replacements: Morley, M. Monaghan, Carvell, Currie.

Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Robinson; Patrick, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Ta'ai, Lawrence.

Replacements: Crabtree, Faiumu, Ferguson, Mullally.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).

Attendance: 7,603

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