In our penultimate trip down memory lane, we look back at the last semi-final Warrington won to date, when we demolished Huddersfield 33-6 at Salford.
These cup encounters between the two sides were becoming quite a regular thing, with the Wire having beaten the Giants at Wembley in 2009, and given them a good bumming at their gaff in 2010 en route to the final.
After being absent in 2011, Tony Smith’s men made it three trips to Wembley in four seasons with a comprehensive job over his former club.
The game – already scheduled to kick off later than usual at 5.30 – was delayed by 15 minutes because the BBC’s coverage of the Golf was overrunning, and when it finally began, Wire found themselves 6-0 down rather early on. A Danny Brough 40/20 set up field position and Scott Moore collected Fa’alogo’s return pass to open the scoring.
It would be the height of joy for the day for the Giants.
Lee Briers, playing some of the best rugby of his career in what would ultimately be his penultimate season, absolutely bossed the show after that. He played a part in four of Warrington’s five tries, twice with sleight of hand and twice with his radar-like right boot.
Wire equalised when Gaz Carvell charged onto Briers’ inside ball, then a pinpoint high kicks to the corner set up a try for Joel Monaghan before his bomb was fumbled by Scott Grix – who had a torrid time of it all day – allowing the field position for Ryan Atkins to score from the resulting scrum.
And just like that, Wire had raced into an 18-6 lead by half-time.
In the second half, on the back of constant pressure on the Huddersfield line, it was Briers’ perfect pass behind a lead runner to Hodgson that allowed the full back to stroll through a huge gap to put the game further beyond his old club’s reach.
Hodgson would then rub salt into the wounds with a drop goal before Stefan Ratchford’s late try gave the jubilant Wire support one final cheer before the hooter.
Hodgson; J Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, Riley; Briers (capt), Ratchford; Carvell, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison.
Subs: Morley, M Monaghan, Wood, McCarthy.