Harry Smith’s drop-goal proves crucial as Wigan hold off valiant Wakefield comeback

Wigan Warriors returned to Super League action with a hard-fought victory over Wakefield Trinity.

Tony Gigot and Liam Kay made their Wakefield debuts, while Ethan Havard replaced the omitted Sean O’Loughlin for Wigan.

Gigot booted Wakefield into an early two-point advantage after Havard was ruled offside at marker, but the Warriors took control with two quick tries. Harry Smith executed a perfectly-timed short ball to Zak Hardaker and Bevan French collected Hardaker’s delicate grubber in the in-goal.

Kyle Wood reciprocated for the ‘home’ side as he showed a dummy and ghosted through the line, but the conversion was missed.

Jackson Hastings poked through a delicious grubber for Liam Marshall, which placed Wigan into a 6-16 lead at half-time.

Jake Bibby maintained Wigan’s momentum as he burrowed over for his first of the season.

Following some ill-discipline, Wakefield were able to benefit with a crucial four-pointer as Tom Johnstone showed sensational skill to acrobatically score millimetres from touch, while Liam Kay made a comeback fully viable with his finish out-wide.

Harry Smith’s impressive 30m drop-goal put Wigan into a seven-point lead, but Kay hit back with his second of the afternoon out-wide.

Wakefield continued to probe a match-winner, but it was Wigan who ran out as 22-23 victors.

Wakefield: Gigot, Kay, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Jowitt, Kopczak, J. Wood, Navarrete, Pitts, Tanginoa, Arona; Subs: K. Wood, Fifita, Kirmond, Tangata

Wigan: French, Manfredi, Hardaker, Bibby, Marshall, Leuluai, Hastings, Bullock, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Havard; Subs: G. Burgess, Clark, Smithies, Hankinson

Full match reports from this weekend’s Super League action will be available in Monday’s League Express.