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Sunday 1st September 2013, 18:15 - Round:26
|Jason Chan 2, Brett Ferres, Aaron Murphy, Jermaine McGillvary 2, Shaun Lunt,||T|
Danny Brough 6,
Attendance: 8,757 Official: T Roby Venue: The John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
Huddersfield Giants ended a wait of 81 years as they demolished Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to finish top of Super League with a game to spare.
An eighth league win in a row sparked wild celebrations from the 8,787 crowd at the John Smith's Stadium as Giants captain Danny Brough was presented with the league leaders' shield from Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood.
Huddersfield, who last finished top of the league in 1932, became only the sixth winners of the shield and, after collecting their first silverware of the Super League era, will now go in search of a first championship victory since 1962.
The rest of the league have been waiting all season for Huddersfield to falter but they have developed a mean streak under Paul Anderson and, after continually defying expectations, were not about to waver now.
Wakefield, who gave a full debut to 20-year-old Bobbie Goulding, son of the former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half of the same name, never looked capable of spoiling the party.
They were without influential playmaker Tim Smith after he was sold to Salford City Reds to ease the club's financial problems and were outplayed in every department by their highly-competent hosts.
With Brough pulling the strings, they dominated the game from the start and were 12-0 up inside 12 minutes.
Second rower Jason Chan scored the first of his two tries after only three minutes, seizing his chance after Shaun Lunt's squeezed pass short of the line caught the Wakefield defence napping.
Huddersfield exposed inexperienced centre Reece Lyne on the Wakefield left and, after he was withdrawn by coach Richard Agar, the Giants showed they were just as lethal down the other flank as second rower Brett Ferres took Luke Robinson's short pass to glide through for a second try.
The visitors were barely able to get out of their own half, thanks largely to Brough's wind-assisted kicking game, and it was no surprise when they fell further behind.
Ominous on either flank, the Giants were also dangerous through the middle and, after impressive starting props Craig Kopczak and Eorl Crabtree both went close to scoring, Chan took Lunt's pass from dummy half to go in for his second try.
Brough's third conversion made it 18-0, which was how it remained until half-time, and there was no let-up from the Giants in the second period.
A fumble by Wakefield's Lee Smith deep inside his own half gifted the Giants a perfect attacking position and Brough took Robinson's low pass to combine with Joe Wardle to get winger Aaron Murphy over for his 19th try of the season.
Brough was also the architect of the next try as his jinking run in midfield sucked in the Wakefield defence and enabled full-back Scott Grix, Chan and Leroy Cudjoe to get Jermaine McGillvary over at the other corner.
Huddersfield continued to dominate yet their finishing left something to be desired until McGillvary took Cudjoe's pass to score his second try.
Lunt, who has played a crucial role in the Giants' successful season on his return from Leeds Rhinos, put the seal on an impressive display with a last-minute try, with Brough kicking his sixth goal from seven attempts.
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