Wigan Warriors produced a stunning performance to compound Warrington’s woe, with a 38-16 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this Thursday night. Wigan went top of the league with four wins from four, while Warrington sit bottom, still looking for their first win.
OUTSTANDING AWAY PERFORMANCE
Wigan Warriors produced an outstanding performance to continue their 100% start to 2017. It was a great display from start to finish, and must be one of their best away days in a long time. Wigan had nine players missing from their squad, and were forced to play youth prospects, Liam Marshall and Liam Forsyth out on the wings, with young forwards Romain Navarette and Jack Wells on the bench.
Wigan would score four first half tries through Anthony Gelling, Liam Farrell and two from Liam Marshall, to take a 20-0 lead after 33 minutes. Wigan dominated the half, and punished every Warrington mistake. They would score some great tries, with young Marshall getting two of them in just his second game for Wigan. Warrington looked stuck for ideas, and struggled to get anything going.
However, right on halftime, Tom Lineham broke down the left-hand side, and found Kevin Brown on his inside, who sent Ryan Atkins over for their first try of the game, in a superb 80-metre effort. Gidley converted the try and Warrington went into halftime with a bit of hope, 22-6 down. That final minute spoiled a near perfect first half performance from Shaun Wane’s men, as I’m sure he’d have been real disappointed with conceding that late try.
LIAM MARSHALL IN DREAMLAND
Just nine minutes into the second half, and Liam Marshall picked up a loose Warrington pass, and ran 70-metres to complete his hat-trick under the posts. It sealed an unbelievable game for the young winger, who had been brought in due to injuries, and had a load of pressure on his shoulders. But he stood up, and made a name for himself on Friday night with a quite remarkable showing.
Wigan furthered their lead with a first try for another Wigan youngster, Jack Wells. It was a great night for the Wigan academy, as the young forward went under the posts and Wigan led 32-6 after 60 minutes. Warrington didn’t fully give in, and they tried to save their pride a little with some consolation tries. They got one back through Rhys Evans, as the centre strolled in the corner to reduce the deficit to 32-12.
Wigan added more pain to Warrington, when Liam Marshall dove over in the corner for his fourth (yes fourth) try of the game. I can’t explain how good it was for the 20-year old. It’s just his second game for Wigan, and he goes and scores four tries, away at Warrington, an unbelievable effort. Warrington did score the last try of the game, when Tom Lineham went over in the corner. But it was too little too late, and Wigan would go top of the league with a comfortable 38-16 win over Warrington.
GEORGE WILLIAMS IS THE MAN
Liam Marshall will take all the plaudits tonight, and rightly so, he was superb. But once again, George Williams was absolutely outstanding for Wigan. He’s just ridiculous to watch, and he’s involved in nearly every try for Wigan. His kicking game is brilliant, setting up a Marshall try in the first half. He’s so quick, and he finds a way to make a chance out of absolutely nothing, he’s a dream to have in the team.
So far, this season, George Williams has been involved in eight tries, scoring two, and assisting six. It a quite remarkable showing from the England international. He’s showing the sort of form that could prove vital to Wigan doing well this season, nearly every play goes through him, and when he gets the ball, Wigan fans expect something special to happen. You just never know what he’s going to do next.
I think you’d be a brave man to bet against Williams being the Man of Steel this season. He’s already proving his worth, and yes, we’re only four games into the season, but the class just oozes out of him. It’s not just the odd good performance, he’s been solid for a good while now, but he’s currently playing some of the best rugby of his life. I just hope those NRL clubs aren’t watching him too close.
WARRINGTON IN DEEP TROUBLE
Where to start with Warrington. It’s been a horror start to the season, having lost all four of their league game so far, with loses to Catalan, Castleford, Salford and now Wigan. They haven’t looked like winning in any of them, which is the worrying thing for Wire fans. They have looked rather poor in attack, and really struggled in defence. They are missing a few key players, but with the roster they have, they should be doing much better.
It doesn’t get any better for Tony Smith, as they have to play St Helens, Hull FC, Leeds and a local derby down at Widnes over their next five games. It’s a real tough run of games, and having started so badly, these start to become must wins for Warrington, or else they could find themselves in real deep trouble. They are already eight points off top of the table Wigan, and searching for their first win, it’s tough times for the Wire.
In what’s been a poor start to the season, one real positive for Warrington has been the performances of young Harvey Livett. He only made his debut in the first game of 2017, away at Catalan. Now four games in, he’s impressed. He was their only standout player on Friday night, playing out of position too. If he continues putting in performances like he has, then he’s in for a very good season, and at 20-years old, a huge career ahead.
Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane:
“It was a good win, I thought we kicked well and dominated field position. We won’t get carried away, Warrington will be stronger when they get players back.”
“Liam Marshall was good. I was impressed with the way he finished. George Williams showed pieces of magic and I though Tommy Leuluai was nice and calm and played it simple.”
“We came here today showing them a lot of respect. They’ll be there at the end they’ve too many good players. I’m pleased with our squad depth when people like Jack Wells scores and Romain comes on and punches holes in their line.”
Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith:
“It was a tough game. I think a lot of the damage was done in the first half, there were too many errors.”
“We’re hurting with how many we’re playing at the moment and I can feel the hurt being felt by our supporters to be fair.”
“Hopefully we’ll have Chris Hill back this week and we’ll see about Dom Crosby. Dec Patton’s omission was selection, not injury.”
IN THE SHEDS
There were no immediate injuries to report from the game.
Apart from a high tackle from Wigan’s Anthony Gelling in the second half, there were no incidents to report. I don’t see that incident being looked at.
Warrington Wolves: (6) 16
Tries: Atkins, Evans, Lineham
Goals: Gidley 2/3
Wigan Warriors: (20) 38
Tries: Marshall 4, Gelling, Farrell, Wells
Goals: Escaré 5/7
Warrington Wolves: Gidley; Russell, Blythe, Atkins, Lineham; Brown, Livett; Cooper, Clark, Sims, Hughes, Westwood, Westerman.
Replacements: Dwyer, Philbin, Savelio, Evans.
Wigan Warriors: Escaré; Forsyth, Gelling, Isa, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Replacements: Clubb, Tautai, Navarrete, Wells.
Referee: Ben Thaler
Venue: Halliwell jones Stadium, Warrington
Date/Time: Thursday 9th March 2017 – 20:00pm GMT