With St Helens taking an enforced weekend off due to COVID infections within their ranks the door was open for those sides who had aspirations on the top spot but todays two opponents in the streamed game, the Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves were playing catch-up as the Giants had just one win coming into this round five game, the Wolves currently pointless.
Both teams were playing in their first season in Super League but it was the Wolves who had a paper advantage having beaten todays opponents in the preliminary round of this seasons Betfred Challenge Cup by 38-12.
It promised to be an interesting encounter.
Michelle Davis opened the scoring on three minutes for the Wolves after she spotted a big gap in the Giants defence which she accelerated through and then shrugged off the tackle of the full-back on her fifty-metre dash to the line. Davis added the extras to her own try for a 6-0 lead.
Within five minutes some great hands saw Alice Evans cross for the second Warrington try as she went over in the right corner, a fabulous Davis kick from the touchline pushed the Wolves into a 12-0 lead.
Dani Bound went in from short range after scooting from acting half back on eleven minutes as the game started to look particularly one-sided. Davis added the conversion as the Giants held an inquest in their goal areas as they tried to look for something that could curtail this rampant Wolves attack.
The Giants steadied the ship and launched a couple of promising attacks but couldn’t make it count as the Wolves line remained intact.
On the half hour the Giants failed to deal with a high kick and after picking up the loose ball Abi Johnston found Sammy Simpson with a great offload for the centre to run over on the angle. Davis was unable to add the conversion.
Four minutes from the interval the Giants got some reward for their efforts when Frankie Townend spun over the line for a four pointer. Chloe Smith was unable to add the conversion, the Giants trailing by 4-22 at the interval.
A high shot on Brogan Evans gave Warrington a penalty and after the Wolves were held up over the line it was Evans who went from acting half back to score from five metres out. Davis added the extra two for a 28-4 lead.
Bryony Coombs was next over the whitewash for the Wolves as two Giants tacklers just released her to go the remaining two metres to score after they seemingly had them all tied up. Davis added the conversion and Warrington were now out of sight, recording their first win of the season.
The Giants got their second as Erin Stott offloaded on the line into the hands of Annabel Loney to score in the corner. Smith again couldn’t add the goal the Giants still well adrift with twenty left on the clock.
Another tremendous passing move saw Simpson on hand with a big overlap to run the angle and in the absence of Giants tacklers went behind the sticks before grounding giving Davis a simple conversion to bring up forty points in the seventieth minute.
Three minutes from time Georgia Sutherland got her customary try stepping past two defenders before dropping to the ground for the eighth Warrington try of the afternoon. Davis pulled her kick across the face of the posts although it mattered little as Warrington recorded a 44-8 win, their first in the Super League, and one which will do them a power of good.
Huddersfield Giants: Townend (T), Loney (T). Subs: .
Warrington Wolves: Michelle Davis (T, 6G), Alice Evans (T), Becky Davies, Sammy Simpson (2T), Abi Johnston, Claire Mullaney, Ellie Jelves, Cat Davies, Dani Bound (T), Armani Sharrock, Bryony Coombs (T), Georgia Sutherland (T), Bex Wilson. Subs: Brogan Evans (T), Abby Latchford, Rachel Thomas, Emily Downs.
Referee: Bradley Mulligan.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 0-16, 0-18, 0-22, 4-22 : HT : 4-26, 4-28, 4-32, 4-34, 8-34, 8-38, 8-40, 8-44 : FT.