HOW Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors handled being a man down determined the outcome of Friday night’s derby at the DW Stadium.

The Wire did get back on level terms at 6-6 through a converted Stefan Ratchford try while Sam Tomkins was in the sin-bin for dissent, but George Williams booted Wigan back in front while his full-back was still off the field.

PHOTO GALLERY: Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves

When Tom Lineham was shown a yellow card by Robert Hicks for a high tackle soon after, Wigan went on to cross for three tries in six minutes to secure a flattering 26-6 result against a Wire side missing skipper Chris Hill, vice-captain Kevin Brown, scrum-half Tyrone Roberts as well as powerful forwards Mike Cooper, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Sita Akauola.

“Sixty-eight minutes into the game I didn’t think there was much between both teams,” said Wolves’ head coach Steve Price.

“It was two teams having a crack.

“Losing Tom Lineham for 10 minutes with 12 minutes to go was a big turning point.

“We couldn’t pull back the big wave that came and they scored a few tries in quick succession at the end which sort of flattened us.

“I was really proud of the guys up to the 68-minute mark.

“We had a fair few troops missing tonight. It was a good opportunity for some young lads.”

He added: “When Tomkins was off we could have managed the game a little better and executed a few plays.

“But with two new halves and a lot of different personnel, we could have done a little bit better.

“They certainly handled 12 men better than what we did in that second stanza.

“We’ve got a bit of work to do but hopefully we’ll get a few blokes next week.”

Luis Johnson’s debut was a positive point for The Wire.

With a history in the back-row, the 19-year-old stood up to some powerful Wigan units as he came off the bench as a prop forward.

“I’m really proud of Luis Johnson’s effort,” said Price.

“I thought he had a great debut against a quality football team.

“Every player who puts on the Wire jersey we expect them to compete hard and have a red-hot crack, and he did tonight.

“There’s still a lot of errors in his game which he needs to improve. He’ll get that over time with another full pre-season.

“He’s played in the middle over the past four weeks in the under 19s. He’s been more of an edge player growing up, but we decided to put him in the middle with the academy team and just get him working harder.

“His game is progressing nicely.”


Price was asked about the performance of his half-backs, Dec Patton alongside Harvey Livett.

He said: “I thought Dec had some really good signs. He did some really good kicks throughout the game. I was pleased with his overall game.”

Price pointed out that Hill and Roberts were absent through ‘niggles’.

“We had a few blokes with a few niggles,” he said.

“With the short turnaround a number of weeks ago after Wembley, the five-day turnaround sort of come back to bite us on the backside over the last two weeks.

“Hopefully we will get a few blokes back next week and be ready to go.”

Wolves will host Saints in their final home game of the season on Saturday, September 22.