Huddersfield Giants 6 - 33 Warrington Wolves

Match info: Challenge Cup at AJ Bell Stadium

Date: 15/07/2012 KO: 17:30 Att: 9,473

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers


TriesMoore (9)ConversionsBrough (9)



TriesCarvell (15) Atkins (24) Monaghan (28) Hodgson (57) Ratchford (77)ConversionsHodgson (15, 24, 28, 57, 70, 77)Drop GoalsHodgson (67)

FT (ht: 6-18)

  • Last Updated: July 15 2012, 20:28 BST

Warrington are back at Wembley after overcoming a stern test from out-of-form Huddersfield in their Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final at the City of Salford Stadium.

Stephen Latchford scores a try for Warrington
Stephen Latchford scores a try for Warrington

The Giants, in freefall in Super League with seven defeats out of eight, had threatened to spring a second shock of the weekend when they led 6-0 thanks to Scott Moore's early try.

But the Wolves scored 33 unanswered points to set up a meeting with surprise finalists Leeds in the August 25 decider, a repeat of the 2010 final which Tony Smith's men won 30-6.

Warrington, who were 1-6 favourites to secure a third Wembley appearance in four years, were largely indebted to two 34-year-olds for this victory.

Full-back Brett Hodgson, who captained Huddersfield in their 2009 Wembley defeat by the Wolves, was immaculate in defence and contributed 17 points while stand-off Lee Briers tormented the Giants with an aerial bombardment which helped produce two of their five tries.

Warrington boss Smith had opted for experience by recalling Briers and fellow veteran Paul Wood at the expense of youngsters Gareth O'Brien, who had played in the club's 12 previous matches including all three rounds of the Cup, and Mike Cooper.

Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown responded to his side's 52-6 humiliation at Castleford by bringing in five new faces, and the changes looked to have done the job as the Giants made the brighter start and took the lead with a ninth-minute try.

Danny Brough created a glorious attacking position with a 40-20 kick and supplied the pass which got second rower David Fa'alogo romping through a hole in the Warrington defence, with hooker Moore in support to touch down.

Brough added the goal to put his side into a 6-0 lead but Warrington seized on a series of defensive blunders by the Yorkshiremen to run in 18 points without reply by half-time.

Prop Keith Mason gifted the Wolves perfect field position with a knock-on inside his own 20-metre area and his opposite number Garreth Carvell punished him with a controversial score.

The England front rower took Briers' reverse pass to charge into a gap and, although he was brought down short of the line, he twisted out of Scott Grix's tackle to plant the ball over the line amid suspicions of a double movement, with video referee Ian Smith giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Carvell had a more clear-cut chance midway through the half when he burst clear with support on either side but he held onto the ball and was tackled 20 metres short of the line.

Huddersfield had their chances, with centre Leroy Cudjoe held up over the line and substitute David Faiumu denied by a last-ditch tackle by Stefan Ratchford, before Briers exposed their fallibility under the high ball.

England centre Ryan Atkins scored straight from a scrum after Grix had fumbled one kick from the Welsh stand-off and winger Joel Monaghan struck three minutes later after the Huddersfield full-back was again found wanting.

Hodgson, the man of the match, converted all three tries to put Warrington into a 12-point lead but the Giants never lost their belief and made the livelier start to the second half.

Centre Lee Gilmour twice came up with breaks that led to nothing while replacement hooker Luke Robinson and Cudjoe both got over the line but were unable to ground the ball and that signalled the end of their Wembley dream.

Warrington hooker Michael Monaghan dummied his way over on 53 minutes only to have his try disallowed for obstruction but Hodgson was not to be denied three minutes later when put through a gap by Briers for the clinching score.

Huddersfield never gave up, with prop Eorl Crabtree illustrating their never-say-die attitude when he got back to pull off a trysaving tackle on centre Chris Bridge.

But the Wolves never looked like relaxing their grip and Hodgson extended their lead with a drop goal and penalty before Ratchford went over for a fifth try four minutes from the end, with Hodgson taking his goal tally to six from as many attempts.