Huddersfield have turned the Super League table on its head with an 11-0 victory over leaders Warrington, although their second win of the season has not been enough to lift them off the bottom after Leeds’ 20-18 victory over Hull.
The Giants mastered tricky, wet conditions on Friday at John Smith’s Stadium, largely through the boot of an impressive Danny Brough, to halt their five-match losing run and condemn the Wolves to a second successive defeat.
In a game of few chances, Huddersfield managed a try in each half through three-quarters Aaron Murphy and Leroy Cudjoe and defended superbly to keep their own line intact.
Warrington, who left out winger Tom Lineham, sorely missed the kicking game of injured Australian halfback Chris Sandow and made far too many handling errors.
Brough’s clever tactical kicking ensured Huddersfield were on the front foot for most of the game and Warrington were forced into six line drop-outs in the first half alone.
The visitors made the first clear break of the match through hooker Daryl Clark, but fullback Ryan Brierley proved to be a secure last line of defence and they spent most of the first half pinned inside their own half.
As the Giants maintained the pressure, second-rower Joe Wardle was held up over the line and left winger Murphy would have scored six minutes from halftime had Rhys Evans not managed to knock down Brierley’s pass.
The game’s first try came in the same spot, though, with Brough making the initial half break and centre Jake Connor’s one-handed offload getting Murphy over in the corner.
Brough could not convert, but made it 6-0 with a 40-metre penalty five minutes into the second half.
Warrington forced a couple of line dropouts early in the third quarter, but, despite the prompting of Australian Kurt Gidley, generally failed to trouble a well-marshalled defence and Huddersfield continued to look the more dangerous side.
Giants second rower Oliver Roberts reached the line but was unable to ground the ball.
Brough, never far from the action, slotted over a long-range field goal on 65 minutes to put his side two scores in front before England centre Cudjoe made sure of the victory when he took Wardle’s pass to cross for his side’s second try.
Elsewhere, Wigan defeated Castleford 26-12.