WIGAN lined up an
elimination semi-final with Super League defending champions and arch rivals St
Helens after coming from behind to beat the resurgent Warrington Wolves in an
exciting clash at the JJB.
The Wolves gave
Wigan a real fright by dominating the first 40-minutes and chalking up a 12-6
lead by the break. But Mike Gregory’s young guns turned it around to score 19
Mike Gregory, now
unbeaten in his nine games in charge, admitted he was worried in the first half.
He said: ‘The score reflects how we played in the second half, but it must look
hard on Warrington. They are in the top six on merit. They have run us close in
all three games this season.
‘I was concerned
with our lack of composure with the ball because we are better than that.’
Wigan had Kris
Radlinski to thank that they weren’t further behind at half-time. The GB
full-back made at least three try saving tackles as his team-mates struggled to
contain Warrington’s fast, adventurous and robust play.
Nathan Wood was the
Wolves main protagonist. His break lead to Quentin Pongia being sin-binned in
the first 10-minutes for holding down Daryl Cardiss and Graham Appo landed the
penalty. Minutes later Wood broke again after intercepting an Adrian Lam pass.
He exchanged passes, one of which looked two yards forward, with Graham Appo
before being hauled down inches short of the whitewash by Radlinski. But with no
defence ahead of him Darren Burns strolled over at the next play of the ball.
Appo converted again.
found a chink in the Warrington defence when after 25 minutes Lam collected
Terry Newton’s short chip through to score. Farrell added the extra two but that
was to be one of his last contributions to the game as his knee problem forced
him off the field. The skipper, also one of six Wiganers to come into the game
with a stomach bug, demonstrated his frustration by hurling his tracksuit to the
When Nathan Woods
intercepted Adrian Lam’s kick he raced 70-yards to give his side a deserved 12-6
Danny Tickle brought
the Warriors level by converting his own 46-minute short range try. And they
took the lead for the first time when Luke Robinson slotted over a penalty. The
18-year-old took over the scrum-half duties after a tired Lam was withdrawn and
the youngster made a major contribution to the Warrior’s improvement.Wigan
went further ahead when Radlinski’s cute back-handed pass put Brett Dallas in.
Tickle was just wide with the conversion but when Robinson slotted over a timely
drop-goal the Wolves visibly tired and Craig Smith’s last minute try sealed