Warrington Wolves put in a commanding performance as they inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Wigan Warriors with a 16-10 triumph at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
For large parts, Shaun Wane’s side- who only landed back in the UK on Monday- were second best and it was only a late flurry of points which made the scoreline look more competitive.
After Bryson Goodwin had kicked the Wolves into an early lead, Tom Lineham grabbed his third try of the season following a wonderful cut out ball from Ben Currie- who later went off injured.
Goodwin’s boot extended the lead to 10-0 eight minutes after half time, before Ryan Atkins reacted quickest to a knock-back from Mitch Brown to grab his first of the match.
Wigan did get their first points of the game on the 63-minute mark, Liam Marshall using his agility to touch down in the corner under pressure from his opposite winger Brown.
Tony Clubb’s converted barge over the line from close-range reduced the arrears even further. However, it was all in vain as there wasn’t enough time for the game to restart.
Price will be extremely pleased with the dominance that his men showed, albeit only winning the match by six.
In truth, they should’ve made it more as Ryan Atkins and Kevin Brown, amongst others, spurned great chances close to the visitors line.
Shaun Wane will be happy that his side finished the game the better after their grueling schedule over the last seven days, but it is little consolation as his side slipped two points below St Helens, who also won on Friday night.
Wolves Starting To Click
Admittedly, it may seem like a close match, but on reflection, The Wolves looked a different side to the one that were comfortably beaten at Huddersfield in round two.
In that game, The Wire conceded a total of 28 errors and penalties.Fast forward to this week, and their improved speed around the ruck was evident to see.
They still may not have been at their scintillating best, yet their defensive showing- in particularly the first 40 minutes- was by far their best of the season so far.
After an early knock, Tyrone Roberts showed glimpses of what he can offer, making a break and worrying Wigan with his kicking game.
It seems only a matter of time until Warrington’s attack clicks fully and when it done, the Wolves will be a formidable opponent to anyone this year.
Shaun Wane Not A Happy Man
Wane showed immense frustration and disappointment at his team’s performance in his post-match press conference, citing that it was far below what he expects from a Warriors side.
In all honesty, they lacked the spirit, energy and creativity needed to unlock the home side’s stubborn defensive line in the first 40, and only started to up the tempo when it was too late.
Their first line break of the match- through Tommy Leauluaia- formed the platform for their opening score. If they could’ve shown the same poise and desire earlier in the game, it might have ended differently for the Cherry-and-Whites.
Man of The Match- Daryl Clark
Clark was one of a host of players from the home side who could’ve won this award.
He has made 30 runs from dummy half this season- more than any other player- and it was these breaks which tormented the Warriors scrambling defense.
His ability to make metres with ease for his side emphasised the collective desire to do the little things right and was one of the reasons why the Wolves fully deserved their second consecutive victory.
Warrington Wolves 16
Tries: Lineham, Atkins
Goals: Goodwin 4/5
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors 10
Tries: Marshall, Clubb
Goals: S. Tomkins 1/2
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, M Brown; K Brown, Roberts; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Westwood.
Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Crosby, Akauola, Patton.
Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Bateman, Gildart, Marshall; Williams, Powell; Clubb, Leuluai, Flower, J Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Subs: Sutton, Tautai, Isa, Escare.
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