Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Wigan Warriors 42
Tries: Richards, Farrell, Goulding 2, Leuluai, Gleeson, J Tomkins
Goals: Richards 7
Hull KR 18
Tries: Fox 2, Cockayne
Goals: Dobson 3
Wigan Warriors moved within 80-minutes of the Grand Final by running out convincing winners over Hull KR at DW Stadium.
After last week's close defeat to Leeds, Wigan took just four minutes to open their account after Sean O'Loughlin, playing as an emergency stand-off, looped a pass out to points machine Pat Richards to score his 32nd try of the season.
However, Rovers hit back and stunned the Warriors with two quick-fire tries to take a 12-6 lead. First, centre Ben Cockayne fed winger Peter Fox to slide in at the right corner, then two quick grubber kicks found their way to Cockayne who went over to score. Mick Dobson added the extras to both tries.
Wigan got back into the game as a suspicious forward pass from Mark Riddell set up Liam Farrell to get the hosts on terms. Richards converted from the touchline.
Mick Dobson slotted over a penalty as Hull KR led again but this was short lived as the Warriors took control. Sam Tomkins was instrumental in setting up winger Darrell Goulding for a double as Wigan went into half time with a healthy 24-14 lead.
Both teams looked to add to their score but the hosts effectively wrapped up the game with two tries in three minutes from Martin Gleeson and Thomas Leuluai.
Peter Fox pounced for his second try of the game as Rovers showed some spirit, but the Joel Tomkins had the last say of the game as he jinked his way over for the Warriors seventh try of the night.
So after avoiding the Club Call pick by St Helens, Wigan now travel to Leeds Rhinos next Saturday hoping to avenge last week's defeat and book a place at Old Trafford.
Warrington Wolves 22
Tries: Higham 2, Hicks 2
Goals: Westwood 3
Huddersfield Giants 34
Tries: Wild, Gilmour, Kirmond, Brown, Cudjoe
Goals: B Hodgson 6
Drop Goal: Brough 2
Huddersfield Giants withstood a Warrington Wolves second half comeback, at HJ Stadium, to move one win away from the Grand Final.
Warrington came into this game on a four match winning record against the Giants, including a 60-0 mauling in the Challenge Cup early on this year.
However, it was Huddersfield who took control as they continued their recent good run. Richard Mathers knocked-on on his own 20-metre line and Stephen Wild was on hand to open the scoring for the visitors after just two minutes.
Danny Kirmond added another on 14 minutes. Midway through the half Lee Gilmour dribbled his way over the line and the perfect half was completed as Kevin Brown forced his way over for the away side's fourth try of the game.
On the hooter Danny Brough kicked a one-pointer as the game looked to be all over with the Giants having a commanding 23-0 advantage.
After being booed off at the break, Warrington responded instantly and thanks to substitute hooker Mickey Higham they got a foothold in the game.
Warrington bound Brett Hodgson added a penalty goal to make it 25-6 but, two quick-fire tries gave the Wolves some hope. Chris Hicks scored the first and Higham added his second of the game moments later to cut the gap to 9 points.
Chris Hicks and a conversion from Ben Westwood gave the hosts a real chance of an unlikely win but another drop goal from Brough and a 90-metre interception from Leroy Cudjoe late on made sure of a famous victory for the Giants and end Warrington hope of the league and cup double.
After being picked by St Helens in Club call, Huddersfield now travel to Knowsley Road, in the last competitive game at the ground, next Friday for a place in the Grand Final.