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Huddersfield 16-25 Warrington

Huddersfield (10) 16
Tries: Lunt, B Hodgson, D Hodgson Goals: B Hodgson (2)

Warrington (18) 25
Tries: Mathers, Monaghan, Hicks, V Anderson Goals: Bridge (4) Drop Goal: Briers

By Julian Shea

Vinnie Anderson and his team-mates celebrate
Vinnie Anderson (head band) scored the match-clinching try

Warrington lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time since 1974 after beating Huddersfield in a superb Wembley final.

Richie Mathers, Michael Monaghan and Chris Hicks scored tries as the Wolves blitzed the Giants, who replied through Shaun Lunt but had two tries ruled out.

Brett Hodgson closed the gap to 18-10 before the end of a frantic first half.

Vinnie Anderson's try pushed Warrington out of reach before David Hodgson's try gave the Giants hope, but Lee Briers' late drop goal sealed Warrington's win.

The game was only 69 seconds old when Warrington drew first blood through Mathers.


Louis Anderson charged down Brett Hodgson's kick and although the Giants captain managed to prevent the Kiwi charging through to the goal line, it was only a temporary reprieve.

Mathers eventually barged over under the posts and after consultation with the video referee, the try was awarded.

Lunt thought he had put the Giants on the scoreboard when he twisted through three tackles to touch down under the sticks, but the video referee was again called upon, and ruled out the try because of a double movement.

But Lunt was not to be denied for long. David Faiumu off-loaded superbly to Brett Hodgson, who burst through the defence and delayed his pass perfectly to allow Lunt to fly over the line and score the Giants' opening try.

Monaghan soon restored Warrington's lead, finishing off after Adrian Morley stripped the ball from Darrell Griffin, and the Giants' usually water-tight defence barely had time to get its breath back before suffering a third blow.

Left winger Chris Riley followed up Lee Briers' kick to gain vital ground, and from that attack the ball was worked across to the right wing where Hicks crossed to score.

David Hodgson became the second Giants player to have a try ruled out, for an obstruction in the build-up, set up by Kevin Brown's fine one-handed pass.

Warrington's Matt King was also then denied a try by the video referee, who deemed the centre was not in control of the ball as he touched down from Briers' high kick.

The frantic pace took its toll on Wolves, with Huddersfield gradually gaining the upper hand, but they had to wait until just before the break to convert that into points.

A fine passing move ended when Jamahl Lolesi's basketball-style pass allowed Hodgson to go over in the right-hand corner, but the angle was too tight for the Australian to convert his own score.

Brown had been hugely influential in the first half, so his loss to a knee ligament injury was a major blow to Huddersfield, who took their time to settle after the restart.

On the hour mark, Monaghan's lateral pass left several defenders grasping at thin air as Anderson went over for the Wolves' fourth try.

That opened up a 14-point lead, which would have meant the Giants would need to claw back the biggest deficit in Wembley history to win.

With time running out, Hodgson stretched over in the left corner to give the Giants a glimmer of hope, but Briers rounded off a memorable day for Warrington with a late drop goal in front of the posts.

Huddersfield: B Hodgson (capt); Cudjoe, Lolesi, Whatuira, D Hodgson; Brown, Robinson; Mason, Moore, Griffin, Fulton, Wild, Faiumu.
Subs: Crabtree, Jackson, Lunt, Aspinwall.

Warrington: Mathers; Riley, King, Bridge, Hicks; V Anderson, Briers; Morley (capt), Monaghan, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, Harrison.
Subs: Cooper, Johnson, Higham, McCarthy.

Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).

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see also
Morley hails career-high Cup win
29 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Challenge Cup photos
29 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Wolves were outstanding - Smith
29 Aug 09 |  Warrington
Giants failed to perform - Brown
29 Aug 09 |  Huddersfield
Challenge Cup final as it happened
29 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Brian Carney's Warrington player profiles
28 Aug 09 |  Warrington
Huddersfield player profiles
28 Aug 09 |  Huddersfield
John Kear on the Challenge Cup final
28 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Thorman issues Cup final warning
27 Aug 09 |  Huddersfield
A Challenge Cup dream realised
27 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Richard Mathers Q&A
25 Aug 09 |  Warrington
Luke Robinson Q&A
26 Aug 09 |  Huddersfield
St Helens 14-24 Huddersfield
09 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Wigan 26-39 Warrington
08 Aug 09 |  Rugby League

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