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RugbyL: Monaghan leads Warrington into Grand Final


Joel Monaghan bagged two first-half tries as Warrington secured a second successive Super League Grand Final appearance with a 30-22 semi-final win over Huddersfield on Thursday.

Monaghan, a former Canberra star in the NRL, scored in the third and 32nd minutes at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

They were two of five tries scored by the Wolves, Simon Grix also with a double and Ryan Atkins with the other, to secure a Grand Final return having lost 26-18 to Leeds last season.

It was also the fourth defeat from four this season that Warrington have inflicted on the Giants, who suffer the misery of winning the League Leaders' Shield but nothing more.

Warrington will now face the winner of Friday's second semi-final between Wigan and defending champions Leeds at Old Trafford on October 5.

Huddersfield were ahead 10-6 midway through the first half thanks to Danny Brough and Jake Connor but second-half tries from Jermaine McGillvary and Dale Ferguson were in vain.

Warrington smothered Huddersfield from the off and were rewarded with a try in the third minute - albeit thanks to indiscipline from Brett Ferres.

He wouldn't let Lee Briers move away and was penalised for holding down with the Wolves taking a quick tap and exploiting Huddersfield's right-hand side.

Micky Higham took the tap and the ball went through the hands of Briers before Chris Bridge's sublime pass allowed Australian Monaghan to crash over.

Stefan Ratchford converted from the touchline although a Brough interception moments later swung the momentum towards Warrington.

And it was to produce a try - the pivotal moment coming when Luke Robinson's grubber kick through the posts from a matter of metres out wasn't dealt with.

Ben Westwood collided into Bridge as both went to collect in the in-goal area with the ball spilling out, hitting Ratchford and falling favourably for Brough to ground.

Brough converted in front of the posts to make it 6-6 before a Chris Riley knock-on proved the catalyst for Huddersfield to take a 10-6 lead in the 22nd minute.

Riley dropped Brough's highball as quick play set up Connor to muscle over the defences of two Warrington players to score.

Yet indiscipline was to cost Huddersfield once more as Larne Patrick was penalised for holding down and Bridge fed Monaghan to score on the right again.

Ratchford converted another from the touchline to give the Wolves a 12-10 lead in the 33rd minute with their advantage extending to 18-10 by the break.

After Briers was denied a try at the line, Richie Myler's kick in, much like Brough's earlier in the half, hit an indecisive Leroy Cudjoe with Grix pouncing on the loose ball to score.

Warrington made it 24-10 seven minutes into the second half as Atkins rose highest, beating off McGillvary, to meet Briers' cross-field kick and score.

McGillvary made amends with a try in the corner moments later and, after a 21-minute spell without a score, Huddersfield reduced the deficit to 24-22 as Ferguson went over.

Shaun Lunt asked questions of Warrington and fed Ferguson to score but a second try from Grix, immediately after another Briers high kick, put the game beyond doubt.