Second placed Wigan Warriors needed to pick up a win against third bottom Warrington Wolves to continue to delay fierce rivals St Helens being crowned as Super League minor premiers, while a victory for Warrington would halt their slide towards the relegation zone.
Warrington haven´t won on their last three outings whereas the Warriors have won two out of their last three and in doing so averaged over fifty points a game against the two Hull sides. Wigan were strong favourites with the Wolves getting a fourteen-point start on the handicap coupon.
Warrington had to turn the corner of their 2022 season at some point, and where better than Wigan to do it, but it turned out that Wigan were in no mood for giving up the chase of top spot.
It was an even battle in the opening exchanges with the gulf in league table places far from evident.
It took twenty minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it was Warrington who opened the scoring as Ben Currie leapt to collect a George Williams high kick and ground with his fingertips under the tackle of Bevan French. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for a 6-0, much to the disgust of the home support.
One minutes before the interval the Warriors got their first of the night when Sam Halsall was at the end of a French pass to go over in the right corner after Wigan did well to keep the ball alive in a fifty-metre flowing move. Harry Smith was unable to add the conversion, the Wolves going into the break with a slender two-point lead.
Three minutes after the restart the Warriors hit the front thanks to an offload from Kai Pearce-Paul which opened the Wolves defence, the ball ending in the hands of Jake Bibby for a stroll in try. This time Smith hit the target with the conversion for a 10-6 lead to the home side.
An incredible period of play, with a Matty Ashton intercept break and then a poor play-the-ball to no-one at dummy half so gifting the ball back to Wigan. The Warriors then broke downfield and worked the ball to the left wing where Liam Marshall was on hand to take the pass and dive in on the overlap. Smith added the conversion for 16-6.
The game was won on sixty-eight when Marshall got his second when he was on hand to take a terrific offload from French, after the winger rose above the Wolves defence to take a Smith high kick. Smith was unable to convert but the lead was fourteen points with just over ten minutes remaining.
Marshall´s hat-trick came on seventy-one after Pearce-Paul tried to flick back a high kick to the corner, he missed but the ball bounced into goal and Marshall simply had to ground, unopposed. Smith added the conversion for 26-6.
Jai Field got in on the scoring action with ninety seconds remaining as he danced his way through the Warrington defensive line to score from twenty out. Smith added the conversion from wide for 32-6, a second half trouncing.
There was very little between the two sides in a fiercely contested first half, but the second forty was one way traffic as the home side kicked on and cantered home to a comfortable win thanks to a hat-trick from winger Liam Marshall. Wigan keep up the pressure on Saints, Warrington continue an awful 2022 which they and their fans will be pleased to see the back of.
Wigan Warriors: Field (T), French, Halsall (T), Bibby (T), Marshall (3T), Cust, Smith (4G), Cooper, Shorrocks, Byrne, Isa, Pearce-Paul, Smithies. Subs: Ellis, Partington, Singleton, Mago.
Warrington Wolves: Thewlis, Wrench, Mata´utia, Wardle, Ashton. Ratchford (G), Williams, Mulhern, Clark D, Harrison, Currie (T), Nicholson, Holmes. Subs: Clark J, Bullock, Walker, Mikaele.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6 : HT : 8-6, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6, 20-6, 24-6, 26-6, 30-6, 32-6 : FT.
Lead Exchanges: Warrington - Wigan.
Referee: Jack Smith.