Wigan lost their first game in fourteen fixtures in league and cup
as Warrington Wolves ran out 39-12 winners in the vital battle of
the top two at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday lunchtime.
It now means that Wigan slip to second in the table and the
destination of the League Leaders Shield will be decided on Friday,
Warrington a point to the good go to Hull while the Warriors host
the Crusaders at the DW Stadium.
The home side raced into 24-0 lead in as many minutes before Wigan
were able to score through a Paul Deacon try.
After a nervy twenty minutes after the break two further Warrington
tries ensured a home win and a double for the Wolves over the
Warriors in regular rounds of Super League. Wigan got a second try
late on through Skipper Sean O'Loughlin but it was Warrington who
moved to the top of the Super League table with the two points.
Wigan made one change to the seventeen that defeated Leeds at
Wembley last weekend in the Challenge Cup Final with Gareth Hock
replacing the injured Lee Mossop on the bench. The Wolves recalled
Adrian Morley to the side, the England prop returning after ten
weeks on the sidelines with an eye injury.
It was a frantic start with Wigan making a mistake straight from
the kick off allowing the ball to go dead forcing an early drop out
from underneath the posts, the Wolves pressed but the Warriors
defence held firm. The visitors were forced into another drop out
as the home side looked for the early breakthrough.
On ten minutes the deadlock was broken, Lee Briers with a hanging
kick to the corner on the final tackle and Matt King rose above
Josh Charnley to gather and dive over. Bridge hit an excellent
conversion to make it 6-0.
Three minutes later and the Wolves were in again, a Briers kick
ricocheted off Thomas Leuluai back into the hands of the stand-off
for a simple try. Bridge made it two from two and the home side
were 12-0 to the good.
Warrington were on a roll and a brilliant break by Richard Myler
sent Michael Monaghan through for the Wolves third try in less than
ten minutes, Bridge added the extras to make it 18-0.
The Warriors made their first break on 20 minutes through Sam
Tomkins from a Leuluai pass but with an opportunity for a Wigan try
the pass went wayward into touch.
A mistake though by Harrison Hansen soon after gifted Warrington an
easy fourth try and his second for Michael Monaghan under the
posts, Bridge hit the conversion, 24-0.
Wigan responded from a tap penalty on 28 minutes, Finch sending
Paul Deacon through for the cherry and whites first try, Richards
hit the goal, 24-6.
On 37, Michael Monaghan added a drop goal from distance to make it
25-6 and that's the way it stayed until the break.
The second half early on was a nervous affair, a Wigan score would
possibly mean a Warriors fight back, a try for the home side
probably would seal it.
Both sides went toe to toe and it was Jon Clarke who was able to go
over from acting half back on the hour mark, the decision made by
the video referee as Sam tried to prevent Clarke putting the ball
down with his leg underneath. Bridge added the goal to make it
The game was won by a Joel Monaghan interception try with 13
minutes left from deep inside his own half and Bridge's conversion
made it 37-6.
Wigan grabbed their second try late on through Sean O'Loughlin
which Pat Richards goaled but with six minutes left it was little
more than consolation.
An incident late on saw Hock put on report and a Chris Bridge
penalty finished the scoring at 39-12.
Wigan host the Crusaders on Friday before the Play-Offs get under
way the weekend after.