Wigan have tuned up for the World Club Challenge in the worst possible manner, suffering a shock loss to Huddersfield to open the Super League season.
Wigan will head to the World Club Challenge with their tails between their legs after a Jermaine McGillvary hat-trick saw Huddersfield kick off the 2014 Super League with a shock 24-8 victory at the DW Stadium on Friday.
Wigan travel to Australia this month to take on NRL champions the Sydney Roosters but, despite briefly threatening a second-half revival, the Warriors aren’t likely to cause too much concern for Trent Robinson’s men on this evidence.
McGillvary darted over for three scores after Brett Ferres had opened the floodgates for Huddersfield.
Trailing 12-0 at half-time, Wigan scored quickfire tries through Iain Thornley and 19-year-old Joe Burgess but McGillvary hit back with his third soon after and Scott Grix wrapped things up late on.
The Warriors were dealt a major blow before kick-off after captain Sean O’Loughlin was ruled out with hamstring injury, joining Josh Charnley on the sidelines.
Wigan did hand debuts to North Queensland Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen and Eddy Pettybourne but the Giants broke the deadlock after just five minutes thanks to a moment of magic from Aaron Murphy on the left-hand touchline.
Brett Ferres fizzed a pass to winger Murphy who produced a perfectly-weighted grubber which Ferres pounced on for the opening score of the season.
Brough missed the conversion but the momentum was with the Giants, who doubled their lead on 17 minutes after another fine grubber.
This time it was Leroy Cudjoe who did the hard work down the right and McGillvary lurched forward to dot down in the corner – again Brough was wayward with the conversion.
And on the half hour mark, McGillvary had his second after a superb pass from Brough from dummy half. He picked put Cudjoe, who passed along the line to McGillvary, who had the simplest of finishes.
Brough once more missed his kick, as well as a drop goal just before the break as the Giants went into the interval 12-0 to the good.
And Brough, last year’s Man of Steel, wasted a glorious chance to add to the Giants’ lead soon after the break, knocking on with the try-line beckoning and it threatened to haunt him when Thornley went over in the left corner soon afterwards.
Captain Matty Smith missed the conversion but Burgess forced his way past Murphy soon after in the right corner, only for McGillvary to follow suit. This time Brough converted for an 18-8 lead.
Brough turned creator again with the clock ticking down, laying the ball on a plate for Grix before converting the try to ensure the Warriors were comprehensively beaten.