Jack Walker reviews Super League’s 2020 curtain-raiser. Here’s what he thought of Wigan’s victory over Warrington.
|9th||Goal Stefan Ratchford (Warrington)||Warrington 0-2|
|14th||Try Ben Murdoch-Masilla (Warrington)||Warrington 0-6|
|14th||Goal Stefan Ratchford (Warrington)||Warrington 0-8|
|18th||Try Bevan French (Wigan)||Warrington 4-8|
|18th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Warrington 6-8|
|23rd||Red Card Chris Hill (Warrington)||Warrington 6-8|
|23rd||Try Sam Powell (Wigan)||Wigan 10-8|
|23rd||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 12-8|
|28th||Stefan Ratchford (Warrington)||Wigan 12-10|
|63rd||Sin Bin Mike Cooper (Warrington)||Wigan 12-10|
|65th||Try Liam Marshall (Wigan)||Wigan 16-10|
|80th||FULL TIME||Wigan 16-10 Warrington|
Chris Hill was sent off for Warrington as Wigan Warriors won the Super League’s 2020 curtain-raiser.
Hill was shown the red card for his high tackle on Sam Powell who was forced off on a stretcher with Wigan being awarded a penalty try to take the lead for the first time in the game.
The away side had actually made the better start and led 0-8 when Stefan Ratchford converted Ben Murdoch-Masila’s early try after just 14 minutes.
The Tonga international battered George Burgess and two other Wigan defenders out of his way as the prop surged like a tank to get the ball down under heavy pressure underneath the sticks.
But the two-score margin lasted under a third of that time as Bevan French raced over to touch down unopposed after an outrageous dummy and Zak Hardaker kicked the first of two goals to cut the arrears to as many points.
The red card came just five minutes later and let the Wire with a mountain to climb barely midway through the first half.
There was little further try-line action in truth as both sides’ dogged determination cancelled each other out – that was until Mike Cooper’s sin-binning saw Warrington drop to eleven players. Ratchford had punted his within two points of golden-point time, but Cooper’s ill-discipline was immediately punished by Liam Marshall.
The 23-year-old made no mistake in sealing the two points to give his side the perfect start to the campaign, leaving blue and yellow shirts crestfallen in his wake.
Warrington were well on top until Hill’s moment of misery. It didn’t appear intentional, but to go so high into a tackle when your side seemingly have control of the game was rather unnecessary. the resulting penalty try most certainly put the nail in the coffin and set the tone for what was to come.
You could make a case for French’s wonderful dummy that saw him waltz between the sticks to initially get the home team back in the contest, but to leave your teammates a man down against a side as lethal and clinical as the Warriors is cardinal.
Wigan Warriors 16
Tries: French, Powell, Marshall
Goals: Hardaker (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves 10
Goals: Ratchford (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors: French: Marshall, Hardaker, Bibby, Burgess; Leuluai, Hastings; Partington, Powell, Burgess, Isa, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Byrne, Clubb, Havard, Smithies.
Warrington Wolves: Austin, Ratchford, Lineham, King, Gelling; Charnley, Ashton; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Murdoch-Masila, Clark.
Interchanges: Philbin, Akauola, Walker, Burrell.