Warrington dismantle Huddersfield to book Challenge Cup final against Wigan

Sam Burgess paid tribute to George Williams after the fly-half led from the front to seal Warrington’s place in the Betfred Challenge Cup final with a 46-10 win against Huddersfield.

Williams scored a lung-bursting solo try and inspired much of their eight-try surge as the Wolves wrapped up a Wembley date with his former club Wigan next month.

Burgess, for whom victory capped an impressive achievement in his first season as head coach, said: “George has always been a brilliant player for us and the group respond to him.

“There are few players who carry a lot of energy between them and George is one of those. He’s the most experienced player in there and the guys all listen to him when he talks.”

Warrington never looked back after crossing for a hat-trick in the opening 20 minutes and coasted home with the full-back Matt Dufty grabbing a double and Josh Thewlis adding 14 points with the boot.

Burgess dedicated his side’s win to the supporters who made up the majority of a disappointing four-figure crowd but insisted there was still plenty of improvement for his side to find in the weeks ahead.

“I think we owe them [the fans] that final,” Burgess said. “It’s been five years since they have tasted that but the job’s not done and we have one more game to go.

“I thought we were scratchy at times in some areas but we took some nice tries. We talked about trying to be consistent and we handled the big occasion very well.

“I wasn’t surprised about the first half but there were areas where we could have been better. We left a few out there but I’m pleased we took the opportunities that we created.”

Ian Watson, the Huddersfield head coach, vowed to hold talks with the full-back Jake Connor after the 29-year-old’s display of petulance forced the Giants to play out a period of the final stages with 12 men.

Connor’s unnecessary late tangle with Thewlis marked a thoroughly miserable afternoon for his side, who have now slumped to four defeats in a row.

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And while Watson appeared aggrieved by Connor’s latest antics, he said: “I think I’ll speak to Jake first before speaking about it in the media. He deserves that, but we need to get on top of it.”

Watson admitted he was “hurt” by his team’s performance, with the trio of early tries sabotaging his side’s gameplan and ultimately costing them any realistic hope of booking a second Wembley appearance in the last three years.

“We had a plan to come here and execute and it just didn’t materialise at the start of the game,” Watson said. “For them to be able to back up a 12-0 lead is pretty tough. You try to stay with it and parts of it looked good, but when you’re behind there’s always a possibility that you’re going to try and force something when you shouldn’t.

“We thought we could get back in the game but George’s try totally killed it. Momentum is a big thing in the game and when you lose that momentum it’s difficult to turn things around.”

The Guardian