Wigan ran out dominant winners after a strong second half performance esnured they claimed a big win over in-form Warrington at St James’ Park.
As expected, the game started as a tight affair with a low scoring opening quarter. Sam Tomkins opened the scoring after 5 minutes thanks to a penalty goal. However, in-form Harvey Livett struck back with the games first try of the match, stretching out to make it 4-2.
Wigan increased the pressure specifically in defence and the pressure proved effective when Sam Powell was awarded a try by the video referee. On replays the ball seemed to be in the grasp of Powell when crossing the line and there was insufficient evidence to overturn referee Robert Hicks’ decision.
The Warriors weren’t done there with Sam Tomkins finishing off a left to right style move by Wigan. Despite sliping on his way to the line, Tomkins still had the composure to slide over for the try, before converting his own touchdown.
In a repeat of last year’s Magic Weekend match- where the sides shared the spoils- Stefan Ratchford scored his fifth of the season, capitalising on some poor communication to pounce onto Kevin Brown’s grubber into the in-goal.
On the stroke of half-time, Wigan were awarded a penalty straight in front of the sticks and around 10 metres out. Unsurprisingly Tomkins took the two points on offer and sent his Warrior’s side in at half-time with a 16-10 advantage.
The second half started in frantic fashion and arguably one of the key moment was to follow. Livett was held up by a last ditch tackle from Wigan forward, Ryan Sutton, and after that moment Wigan seemed to grow in confidence.
Back to back tries from a stylish Warriors proved costly for the Wolves. The first came through John Bateman, who broke through the line before stepping off his right foot past Stefan Ratchford. In the next set, Marshall broke away down the line in an 60 metre surge before offloading to George Williams who was able to support his winger.
Marshall deserved a lot of credit for his performance, especially his battle again Josh Charnley, and got over for a richly-deserved touchdown towards the end. Stefan Ratchford thought he had scored minutes later, but was harshly ruled as an obstruction by the video referee.
The final try of the match came in the 77th minute with a break from a Morgan Escare, which was eventually finished off by Tom Davies who was able to run in to ground the ball underneath the sticks.
Wigan once more opted for a penalty after the final hooter had sounded, which Tomkins converted again to end with a final score of 38-10 to the Wigan Warriors.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Wigan Ruthless in Attack
Crossing for 38 points in an initially close affair shows the credit the players and Shane Wane deserves. With Wigan breaking through the line on many occasions backed up with strong support play shows why Wigan are a side who will be in contention for a place at Old Trafford in October.
Young Guns better than the Old Guard
When rumours surfaced about Josh Charnley returning to rugby league many people expected him to return to Wigan. However, this didn’t happen and Charnley faced off against Liam Marshall who is one of the reasons why he was unable to return.
The battle was entertaining with Marshall having the upper hand. Marshall showed his maturity when dummying a pass which fooled Charnley, subsequently resulting in an assist for the Wigan winger. Will Liam Marshall be a future England star? After today’s performance, you wouldn’t bet against it.
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
In a week which it was announced that Tomkins would be departing the Warriors to play for Catalans Dragons next season, it seemed as if he couldn’t do anything wrong. With him pushing up and including his kicking game, it made for a difficult evening for Steve Price’s men.
Tomkins got a well deserved try and he showed that even though he may not be in as good form as in previous campaigns, he is still one of the league’s best players.
Wigan Warriors 38 (16)
Tries: Powell, S Tomkins, Bateman, Williams, Marshall, Davies
Goals: S Tomkins 7
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves 10 (10)
Tries: Livett, Ratchford
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins, Davies, Bateman, Gildart, Marshall, Williams, Powell, Clubb, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Farrell, J Tomkins
Interchanges: Escare, Sutton, Navarrete, Tautai
TEAM B: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Charnley, Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Akauola, Livett, Hughes, Westwood
Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, King
Referee: R Hicks