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Friday 16th September 2011, 20:00 - Round:Play Offs
|Chris Riley 2, Chris Bridge, Joel Monaghan 2, Matt King, Brett Hodgson, Richie Myler, Ryan Atkins,||T|
Chris Bridge 2, Lee Briers 3,
Attendance: 10,006 Official: S Ganson Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Engage Super League table-toppers Warrington Wolves are just 80 minutes away from a maiden Grand Final appearance after brushing aside a ragged Huddersfield Giants in tonight's one-sided opening play-off tie.
The Wolves ran in nine tries without reply to brush aside woefully weak resistance and earn themselves a week off as well as the opportunity to choose their semi-final opponents.
On this form the Wolves are firm favourites to add the Super League trophy to the League Leaders' Shield which was presented to them at the end of tonight's match.
While Warrington oozed confidence on the back of a three-month winning run in the League, Huddersfield looked distinctly out of sorts from the start as they found the task of repeating last year's play-off win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium way beyond them.
They were simply outclassed in crashing to an eighth successive away defeat stretching back to May and, although they will have a home tie in next weekend's preliminary semi-finals, it will take a major transformation in their form if they are to match last year's last-four achievement.
The Wolves were boosted by the return of skipper Adrian Morley following eye surgery for only his second appearance in nearly three months and his solid first half-hour stint helped lay the platform for his side's first-half dominance.
Huddersfield did not help themselves by conceding 10 penalties before half-time and the contest was over by the end of the first quarter when the rampant Wolves scored at a point a minute to lead 20-0.
Chris Riley, switched to the wing a week ago to make way for the return of former Huddersfield full-back Brett Hodgson, twice produced devastating finishing to score tries and fellow winger Joel Monaghan also touched from Lee Briers' long pass.
The versatile Chris Bridge was the architect of both Riley tries and he also got on the scoreboard after winning the race to Hodgson's grubber kick.
Bridge kicked two goals before going off for treatment midway through the first half and Warrington lost some of their fluency in his temporary absence.
They added a fifth try when centre Matt King took a suspiciously forward pass from Simon Grix to touch down and Briers kept the score ticking over with a drop goal two minutes before the break.
Huddersfield could do little right in the first half, with accident-prone full-back Scott Grix, older brother of the Warrington back rower, having a rare off day.
The Giants trailed 22-0 after 23 minutes of their last meeting with the Wolves before clawing back some respectability in going down 28-16, but they never looked up to mounting any kind of fightback this time.
They were reduced to 12 men with the sin-binning of Grix four minutes into the second half for holding down Richie Myler and the home side took full advantage by scoring twice in his absence.
Monaghan grabbed his second try, a minute after being denied by the video referee, and Hodgson sliced through a yawning gap in the visitors' defence.
The hapless Giants conceded again when a careless offload from Andy Raleigh put them under pressure and Myler kicked ahead to score his side's eighth try.
Centre Ryan Atkins then took Hodgson's pass to scythe through for the final try and Briers kicked his third conversion.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals