French scores a double as Wigan Warriors edge a tight affair


Wigan Warriors got back to winning ways with a tight 14-12 victory over fellow play off contenders Huddersfield Giants.

A brace from Bevan French as well as one from the former giant Jake Wardle were enough for the win. The giants responded through three penalty goals from Olly Russell and a converted try from the returning Kevin Naiqama.

The hosts were on top inside the first ten minutes and they would take an early lead through an Olly Russell peanlty goal.

The warriors then hit back five minutes later scoring the first try of the contest.

Huddersfield spilled the ball bringing it out of their own end and it found its way to Cade Cust who put in a deft kick to the corner for Bevan French to dive on and score.

The giants would level the scores through another penalty goal however parity would last a matter of minutes as Wigan once again hit the front through a Huddersfield handling error.

This time Jake Bibby dropped a Harry Smith kick to the corner and the former giants man Jakle Wardle was on hand to dot the ball down. Harry Smith couldn’t convert the try meaning Wigan’s lead stayed at four points.

The boot of Olly Russell reduced Wigan’s lead to 8-6 as he kicked another penalty goal on the stroke of halftime following a Wigan infraction close to their line.

Much like the first half the home side starts brightly and they would retakle the lead on the 46 minute mark through a try for the returning Kevin Naiqama.

Liam Marshall failed to deal with a Will Pryce grubber and the Fijian centre was on hand to gather the ball and run round to score under the posts. Olly Russell remained faultless with the boot and put the giants into a 12-8 lead.

The game turned into a scrappy affair following the try with both teams making errors. Wigan would come closest to scoring through Willie Isa as the second rower was almost put through a gap by Jai Field but he could only juggle the ball before dropping it close to the line.

As they started to turn the screw it would be the warriors who struck the decisive blow on the hour mark.

Yet again the giants failed to deal with a kick as they failed to compete for a high ball which meant it could be batted down into the hands of Bevan French who managed to race through and dive over despite the attention of the scarmbling giants defenders. Harry Smith kicked his first goal of the night to edge the warriors into a two point lead.

Huddersfield did their best to fight back in the final quarter of the game but a number of handling errors repeatedly gifted Wigan possesion and the visitors were able to see out the game.

Post match reaction

Matt Peet spoke first and he was happy to get back to winning ways.

He said: “I thought we handled the situation well and I liked the way we played in terms of effort areas. They complete high and kick well and it takes alot out of you. I thought we looked quite comfortable in our defence and I was happy with how connected we were there. We’ve got plenty more in us with the ball.”

Ian Watson gave credit to both sides for a high quality game and felt his side lacked a bit of experience as they deviated from the gameplan when chasing the game.

On some of the errors that led to the Wigan tries, he said: “They are silly tries and when you look back at them the players will be upset who were involved in them and what happened. Them kind of games are won by little moments like that and we need to learn to be better in them.”


Huddersfield Giants: Tui Lolohea, Jake Bibby, Kevin Naiqama, Esan Marsters, Leroy Cudjoe, Olly Russell, Will Pryce, Chris Hill, Nathan Peats, Oliver Wilson, Josh Jones, Chris McQueen, Luke Yates Interchanges: Ashton Golding, Jack Ashworth, Harry Rushton, Seb Ikahihifo 18th Man: Harvey Livett

Wigan Warriors: Jai Field, Bevan French, Toby King, Jake Wardle, Liam Marshall, Cade Cust, Harry Smith, Mike Cooper, Sam Powell, Liam Byrne, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Morgan Smithies Interchanges: Kaide Ellis, Ethan Havard, Patrick Mago, Kai Pearce-Paul 18th man: Brad O’Neill

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