Warrington 28 Wigton 10
A BONUS point win over Wigton means that any fears of demotion can now be forgotten, as Warrington now sit in sixth place in the league with four games to play, even though two of these are against the first and second in the table.
This was a ‘must win’ game for Warrington and they set their stall out from the kick off against an abrasive Wigton outfit.
It took three minutes for Warrington to open their account, when quick hands across the back put Kieron Hughes into space.
The diminutive winger made ground before putting in a deft kick ahead, which was snapped up by Steve Pilkington in close support and the centre touched down.
Warrington then suffered the first three of their 17-match penalties but when Wigton were penalised for an intentional knock on under their posts, Pat Roberts made no mistake with the kick.
At this stage Warrington were in total control in all phases, with Josh Riley, on his welcome return, ruling the lines and with Paul Thompson, celebrating his 200th first team appearance, spearheading the pack in both set scrums and at the breakdown.
Excellent forward play eventually set up the second Warrington try.
A perfect series of phases gained territory in the Wigton 22 and when Tom Wood released the ball to his backs Kevin Jones made good ground on the left before delivering a classy offload to Ashley Rockey, who slid over in the corner.
It was again the forwards who created the third try, when excellent ball retention close to the Wigton line created the space for young tyro Joel Barker to finish off.
Warrington then claimed the bonus point before half time when Danny Fleming broke from a seven-man scrum ten yards from the Wigton line and handed onto Kieran Hughes who touched down for his easiest try of the season.
Wigton started the second half in a more aggressive frame of mind and a quick tap penalty saw them open their account with a try in the corner.
Warrington soon replied when they quickly changed the point of attack after relentless forward pressure and Andy Roberts fed Ashley Rockey who brushed off a couple of tackles before feeding Kieron Hughes and the little maestro touched down in the corner.
Warrington then found themselves strangely on the defensive as Wigton ran the ball at every opportunity and looked especially dangerous through their outside centre.
However, the Warrington defence held firm until the Wigton inside centre threw a clever dummy and strolled through a gap to score.
Fortunately, this was much too late to effect the result and Warrington’s defence, notably with one crunching tackle from Kevin Jones, held firm until the final whistle.
“Our first forty minutes was a perfect 10,” said coach Andy Roberts.
“The forwards assumed control in all phases and we showed the clinical finishing we have been searching for.
“We now look pretty safe but it would be good to win at least three of our four remaining matches.”