Wigan reclaimed top spot in Super
League - but only after grinding down a magnificent Halifax side in an
absorbing contest at the JJB Stadium.
The Warriors trailed 8-4 after an
hour, but came good with three tries in 11 minutes to secure a sixth
The Blue Sox, with only one win from their last 11 matches, held
Bradford to a draw a week ago and looked well capable of pulling off
another upset against one of the title contenders.
They stunned Frank Endacott with some ferocious tackling and scored the
only try of the first half through impressive stand-off Martin Moana.
The visitors almost scored after six minutes when centre Greg Florimo,
one of four ex-Wigan men in their ranks, put a superb kick into space and
full-back Daryl Cardiff won the race to the ball but narrowly failed to
ground it over the line.
They deservedly went ahead, after running a penalty, when Moano made
the most of some ineffective tackling to jink his way over for a 13th
Jamie Bloem kicked the conversion and added a penalty for ball-stealing
to put Halifax 8-0 ahead and Wigan's only reply came from the boot of
skipper Andy Farrell, who put over two penalty goals.
A superb covering tackle by Olly Marns and Marvin Golden halted Wigan
full-back Kris Radlinski after the Warriors best attacking move of the
half - but the Great Britain star was to gain his revenge as he went on to
score twice and notch up a personal landmark of a century of tries.
As Wigan overcame their early lethargy and Moana's kicking game
deteriorated, the visitors were forced to spend long periods camped in
their own 20-metre area in the second half.
The turning point came on 59 minutes with the inspired introduction of
substitute Terry Newton.
Within four minutes his half break and kick had set up Radlinski for a
crucial try, which was eventually determined after prolonged deliberation
by the video referee.
Farrell's conversion put Wigan in front for the first time and they
stretched their lead with two more quick-fire scores.
First Radlinski profited from a lightening break by winger Jason
Robinson and then Newton got on the end of a marvellous break by centre
Farrell took his goal tally to four, but the brave Blue Sox battled to
the end and had the final say when hooker Paul Rowley crossed for his
side's second try in injury time.