Challenge Cup final: Huddersfield Giants 14-16 Wigan Warriors

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Betfred 2022 Challenge Cup final
Huddersfield: (10) 14
Tries: Leutele, McQueen, McGillvary Goals: Lolohea
Wigan: (6) 16
Tries: Smith, Field, Marshall Goals: Smith 2

Wigan Warriors stunned Huddersfield Giants with a late try to win the Challenge Cup for a record-extending 20th time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Matty Peet's side were favourites coming into the contest, but needed Liam Marshall's score to seal victory.

Ricky Leutele and Chris McQueen crossed for Huddersfield, in between Harry Smith's try, for a 10-6 half-time lead.

Jermaine McGilllvary edged Giants 14-12 back in front after Jai Field had gone over, but Marshall had the final say.

It was a fitting finish to a hard-fought final which ebbed and flowed, but ultimately Wigan came out on top for their first Challenge Cup triumph since 2013.

The two sides came through contrasting semi-finals earlier this month, with Huddersfield comfortably despatching Hull KR, while Wigan held off a valiant St Helens fightback in their tie.

The final was being played at Tottenham's ground for the first time while Wembley is used for English Football League play-off matches this weekend.

Huddersfield's football team will be aiming to make amends for the town on Sunday when they face Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off final.

Peet proves his worth

Questions were raised last year when it was announced Wigan academy coach Peet, who had never played professional nor been a head coach before, would replace Adrian Lam as the first-team boss.

But just three months into his tenure following the shock appointment, it has proved to be a masterstroke as he has brought back glory to the rugby league heavyweight outfit.

Wigan legends such as Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah and Sam Tomkins have previously got their hands on the famous trophy and the current crop can now add their names to the illustrious list.

The Warriors are the top points scorers in Super League this season and will almost certainly be challengers for the Grand Final come the end of the campaign.

Though far from their fluent best in the showpiece, Peet has ingrained a steely determination in the side with a never-say-die attitude.

And it was displayed again as they looked to be heading for defeat when time was running out. With four minutes left and behind by two points, Marshall got on the end of Smith's delightful grubber-kick to send the Wigan fans delirious.

Earlier, scrum-half Smith had latched onto Morgan Smithies' brilliant offload to touch down.

The in-form Field also had a say by giving his side the perfect start in the second period after Bevan French outstripped the Huddersfield backline down the right wing.

Heartbreak for Huddersfield

The long wait for Huddersfield to win the Challenge Cup goes on. They last lifted the trophy back in 1953 and they got one hand on it this time before their late heartbreak.

Club stalwart McGillvary thought he had won it when he held off three defenders to burrow over in the corner from fellow academy product Leroy Cudjoe's lay-off, but it was not quite enough.

Leutele had earlier darted over before McQueen's mesmerising dummy gave Huddersfield a four-point advantage at the break.

The defeat will be a difficult one to take for boss Ian Watson, who was also on the losing end by a mere two points for Salford against Leeds two years ago.

Luke Yates and Tui Lolohea also featured in that thrilling match - and it will be Giants full-back Lolohea who will be left rueing his four missed kicks at goal that proved decisive.

Huddersfield: Hill, Levi, Wilson, McQueen, Jones, Yates, Cogger, Russell, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Leutele, I. Senior, Lolohea.

Replacements: English, Greenwood, Golding, Trout.

Wigan: Field, French, Thornley, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Singleton, O'Neill, Byrne, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies.

Replacements: Leuluai, Mago, Ellis, Havard.

Referee: James Child


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