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Austin drop goal earns Wolves victory

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BLAKE Austin’s late drop goal earned Warrington Wolves a 19-18 win over Huddersfield Giants at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens.

Austin kicked from 40 metres out three minutes from time after Oliver Russell had converted his own try to level the scores.

Warrington worked hard to give themselves the advantage, having spent two separate spells down to 12 men in the first half after Ben Murdoch-Masila was sinbinned in the fourth minute for a hit on Matty English, which saw the Giants forward stretchered off after a long stoppage.

Although the Wolves led 2-0 through a penalty, Ukuma Ta’ai made sure the Giants made the most of a man advantage to lead 6-2.

Barely minutes after Murdoch-Masila returned, Austin was yellow-carded by referee Ben Thaler for a trip, but despite being a man down, Warrington turned it around when Ben Currie won the race to ground Gareth Widdop’s kick in goal.

The scores were tied at 8-8 at half time, and it took just two minutes for the Wolves to take the lead – a fine run to the line by Widdop off a suspicious looking pass by Toby King.

After Jermaine McGillvary had brought the Giants back within two at 14-12, King and Widdop would link up again to create a superb try for Tom Lineham, though crucially, Stefan Ratchford was unable to tag on the extras.

That meant when Russell crossed for a try with six minutes to play, he just needed to keep his cool for the conversion, which he did, before Austin’s telling contribution.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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