sport

Giants off to a flyer

Huddersfield opened the Super League season with a commanding 24-8 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Jermain McGillvary bagged a hat-trick of tries book-ended by scores from Brett Ferres and Scott Grix, while Warriors had to wait until the 45th minute to open their account.

Iain Thornely and Joe Burgess got on the scoresheet for the hosts within 10 minutes of the restart to threaten a comeback, but McGillvary halted their momentum before Grix closed the show late on.

The fixture was brought forward a week to enable the Warriors to fly down under to prepare for their World Club Challenge clash with Sydney Roosters, but they will travel under a cloud after a disappointing start to their domestic title defence.

The defeat was compounded by injuries to England internationals Sean O'Loughlin and Michaell McIlorum while debutant full-back Matty Bowen, the man signed to replace Sam Tomkins, is facing a possible ban after being put on report for a high and late tackle on his opposite number Scott Grix.

Wigan's misery was in sharp contrast to the joy experienced by the Giants, who did the double over Wigan on their way to topping the table in 2013 and, on this form, could be a good bet to go all the way to the Grand Final.

Inevitably, Huddersfield skipper Danny Brough, the 2013 Man of Steel, was at the heart of his side's impressive display, despite an off day with the boot.

Already without last year's leading try-scorer Josh Charnley, the champions suffered another body blow before kick-off, when skipper O'Loughlin pulled out with a thigh injury sustained in training which forced coach Shaun Wane into a hasty reshuffle.

McIlorum started on the bench after apparently recovering from a hamstring injury but he did not enter the action until the 50th minute and lasted only 16 minutes before coming off.

Huddersfield, who gave debuts to former London forwards Chris Bailey and Antonio Kaufusi, also had their setbacks.

They were forced to overcome the loss of second rower Larne Patrick, who fell awkwardly a minute before half-time and was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury, and hooker Shaun Lunt, who hobbled off midway through the second half.

Brilliant Brough

Huddersfield were already well in control by then, having dominated the first half with a combination of enterprising attacking play and smothering defence.

Second rower Brett Ferres, one of England's big successes of the World Cup, got the first try of the season, touching down Aaron Murphy's delicate kick just four minutes in after first releasing the Giants winger with a deft pass.

McGillvary grabbed his first try on 16 minutes, latching onto Shaun Lunt's inch-perfect grubber kick, to double Huddersfield's lead and the brilliant Brough ensured his side stayed in command.