Challenge Cup Final: Huddersfield Giants 14-16 Wigan Warriors

Huddersfield: (10) 14
Try: Leutele, McQueen, McGillvary Goals: Lolohea
Wigan: (6) 16
Try: Smith, Feld, Marshall Goals: blacksmith 2

The Wigan Warriors stunned the Huddersfield Giants in a late attempt to win the Challenge Cup for a 20th time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Matty Peet’s side entered the competition as favorites but needed Liam Marshall’s strike to seal the win.

Ricky Leutele and Chris McQueen cruised for Huddersfield, between Harry Smith’s try, for a 10-6 halftime lead.

Jermaine McGillvary rebounded the Giants 14-12 after Jai Field passed, but Marshall had the final say.

It was a fitting end to a hard-fought, up-and-down final, but ultimately Wigan prevailed for their first Challenge Cup triumph since 2013.

The two sides came through opposing semi-finals earlier this month, with Huddersfield easily beating Hull KR while Wigan repelled a brave rebellion against St Helens in their tie.

The final was played at Tottenham’s ground for the first time, while Wembley is used for this weekend’s English Football League play-off games.

The Huddersfield football team will look to make amends for the city on Sunday when they take on Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off final.

Peet proves his worth

Questions were raised last year when it was announced that Wigan Academy coach Peet, who had never been a professional player or head coach before, would replace Adrian Lam as first-team boss.

But just three months into his tenure following the shock appointment, it has proven to be a masterstroke as he restored glory to rugby league’s heavyweight team.

Wigan legends such as Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah and Sam Tomkins have previously gotten their hands on the famous trophy and the current crop can now add their names to the illustrious list.

The Warriors are the top point earners in the Super League this season and will almost certainly be contenders for the Grand Final at the end of the season.

Though Peet is far from being the best fluent in showpiece, he has ingrained in the team a steely determination with a never-say-die attitude.

And it was shown again as they headed for defeat as time ran out. With four minutes left and two points down, Marshall turned on the end of Smith’s delightful cultivator kick to send the Wigan fans mad.

Previously, scrum half Smith had clung to Morgan Smithies’ brilliant offload to set up.

The in-form Field also had their say, giving his side the perfect start to the second half after Bevan French passed the Huddersfield defender on the right wing.

Heartbreak for Huddersfield

The long wait for Huddersfield to win the Challenge Cup continues. They last lifted the trophy in 1953, and this time put a hand on it before their late heartbreak.

Club star McGillvary thought he had won when he stopped three defenders from digging into the corner after the sacking of fellow academy fellow Leroy Cudjoe, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Leutele had earlier shot wide before McQueen’s fascinating dummy gave Huddersfield a four-point lead at the break.

The defeat will be difficult for boss Ian Watson, who was also on the losing side with just two points for Salford against Leeds two years ago.

Luke Yates and Tui Lolohea also featured in the thrilling game – and it will be Giants full-back Lolohea who will rue his four missed shots on goal that proved crucial.

Huddersfield: Hill, Levi, Wilson, McQueen, Jones, Yates, Cogger, Russell, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Leutele, I. Senior, Lolohea.

Substitute: English, Greenwood, Golding, Trout.

Wigan: Field, French, Thornley, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Singleton, O’Neill, Byrne, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies.

Substitute: Leuluai, Mago, Ellis, Havard.

Referee: James kid

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