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FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 4 Wigan Warriors 12
WARRINGTON Wolves were unable to gain any redemption for last season’s Grand Final loss as Wigan ended a run of seven games without a Super League win against the hosts at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Liam Farrell’s first half try was added to when Blake Green crossed after the interval, with Wolves becoming the first side this year not to put more than 20 points on Wigan.
Warrington were lacking ideas and the only points they mustered came on the hour when a Wigan mistake handed Gene Ormsby a try.
Tempers flared in only the second minute as Ben Westwood was grounded by Dominic Crosby and the prop forward felt the Warrington joint captain had led with his elbow.
With 11 minutes played Matty Bowen’s pass found Joe Burgess in space and the Wigan man broke free down the left side, evading the diving tackle of Warrington’s Joel Monaghan.
The winger took Warrington full back Stefan Ratchford out of the game with a pass inside to the supporting Farrell, who crossed for the game’s first try. Matty Smith added the extras.
Wolves’ first statement of intent came after 18 minutes, but that opportunity was wasted as newly introduced substitute Glenn Riley caused an obstruction during Chris Hill’s drive.
Wigan were awarded a penalty when Micky Higham was pulled up for interference after 20 minutes and Warrington’s indiscipline continued when, from the resulting move, they gained another penalty for offside.
From that play, John Bateman thought he had grounded from close range after picking up from dummy half, but Warrington centre Ryan Atkins held the Wigan man up, as confirmed by the video referee.
Moments later Wigan’s leading try scorer Iain Thornley crossed but this was to be the visitors’ second score ruled out in a matter of moments as the winger had received a forward pass from Bowen.
Richie Myler was presented with an opportunity as Wolves approached the Wigan line for the second time in the 24th minute, having collected from dummy half Gareth O’Brien’s pass, but the execution on his grubber kick was poor.
Chris Bridge gained good ground as Wolves looked to restore parity before the break, but it was another chance wasted for Tony Smith’s side as James Laithwaite failed to gather Ratchford’s pass, knocking on to give Wigan the put in from the scrum.
Gene Ormsby dropped a high Wigan kick, but referee Phil Bentham had already spotted an obstruction and Smith opted to add two points with the boot from 30 metres to make it 8-0 four minutes from the interval.
Smith sent a drop goal wide on the hooter.
Wigan sent the kick off into touch giving Wolves the chance to start the second half on the front foot, but O’Brien could not find touch from the penalty.
Myler forced a knock on with an important tackle on Darrell Goulding after Burgess’ lengthy dart down the left hand side had looked like opening up Wolves’ defence five minutes into the second half.
It was another Warrington knock on that led to Wigan’s second try of the evening, Grix this time failing to gather in the 50th minute and the visitors broke from the resulting scrum.
Substitute Eddy Pettybourne offloaded to Farrell and he scooted forward before releasing a well-timed pass to Green for the 2013 Grand Final man-of-the-match to go over. Smith struck the post from the conversion with the score at 0-12.
The arrival of Matty Russell at full back, with Ratchford moving to stand off, livened things up for Warrington and the replacement’s break gained the hosts good ground before Ratchford spilled the ball forward when attempting to gather a difficult pass.
But it was a Wigan mistake that allowed the hosts back into the game on the hour mark as Ormsby intercepted Bowen’s pass and sprinted 60 metres to cross unopposed for his third try of the campaign. Ratchford was unable to convert.
With 10 minutes remaining Myler spotted a gap and escaped a number of would-be Wigan tacklers to set up a play for Atkins to gather from a clever grubber.
Warrington were awarded the put in from a scrum moments later and kept the pressure on Wigan, before working the ball through hands only for Bridge to spill a pass when joining the line in the right hand corner.
Wigan missed a penalty with less than a minute remaining, awarded for a grapple tackle from Westwood.
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