Warrington took the spoils 30-10 in Saturday's Super League game.
The league's best two sides thrashed out top of the table clash
worthy of the pre-match billing with Warrington closing the gap to
just one point in the lead for the League Leaders Shield.
The sun was shining and Wigan kicked off roared on by another
massive following with the Away Stand at the Halliwell-Jones
Stadium a sea of red and white.
Warrington came out with all guns firing and were the dominant
force of the first half, and should have been more than 10 points
up at the break having been the more physical team and dominating
both possession and field position, helped by Wigan's massive error
Warrington opened the scoring after just 2 minutes as Lee Briers
capitalised on a Finch mistake to race 40 meters before being
caught by Carmont; however, from the play-the-ball Westwood managed
to dive over in the right hand corner. Hodgson's extra's made it
The Warrington onslaught continued and before Wigan could regain
possession, two penalties, a dropped bomb and a missed tackle by
Mossop saw Ben Harrison score under the posts. Hodgson again added
the kick 12-0.
It wasn't the close opening quarter that Shaun Wane had hoped for
as his Warriors looked shocked and produced a number of unforced
errors, particularly at the play-the-ball.
It was yet another mistake that almost led to Warrington's third
try as a Hansen pass went astray and Riley raced away to score,
only for the video referee to adjudge that Ryan Atkins had knocked
the ball down in the tackle and wipe off the try.
Wigan were doing well to keep the score to 12-0 with Warrington
throwing everything at them, and the visitors were slowing coming
back into the game with increased territory. With just 8 minutes of
the first half remaining the Warriors managed to secure a good
position in front of the posts and the head and feed at the scrum,
from which the Wolves were penalised for offside on their own line.
Gareth Hock picked up the ball and took a quick tap to shrug off
Westwood and score. Charnley's kick made it 12-6.
But Warrington hit back almost immediately when Brett Finch was
judged to have passed forward in his own half. From the scrum they
pressurised the Wigan defensive line and with broken play Hodgson
raced clear before throwing a pass that was clearly 5 meters
forward for Joel Monaghan to collect and touch down in
controversial circumstances. This time the conversion fell short,
16-6 going into the Half Time break.
Warrington scored first in the second half through a Brett Hodgson
penalty goal before Josh Charnley's touchdown in the corner was
ruled out when the video replay showed that his foot was in touch
before grounding the ball.
Wigan were starting to exert some dominance on the game until
another error - this time a poor cross field kick by Matty Smith -
was taken by Ratchford for his former Salford teammate to race 70
meters to touchdown. Hodgson's kick made it 24-6 after 55 minutes.
But the game wasn't over and the Warriors received a boost when
Briers' penalty kick failed to find touch and was brilliantly
scooped up by Charnley. On the next play Wigan looked to be at
their fluent best with a left shift finding Tomkins, then Carmont
and finally Thonley who scored in the corner. Charnley couldn't
kick the touchline conversion, 24-10.
The game was far from a classic with the amount of errors, however
it was certainly brutal with passions often overflowing, and it was
over on 69 minutes when Richie Myler touched down under the Wigan
posts. Hodgson again kicked the extra's to make the final score
Wigan will be disappointed with their performance but still remain
in pole position for the League Leaders Shield with just three
crucial games remaining against Salford and St Helens at home, and
Hull KR away.