Wigan Warriors recovered from a 4-18 half-time deficit to seal a 24-20 victory tonight against Warrington Wolves to grab a place in the top four, while the Wolves will have to wait for the result of Huddersfield’s game against St Helens on Friday night before knowing whether they have finished in the top four.
The main worry for Wigan after tonight’s game is that hooker Michael McIlorum was placed on report for a challenge on Warrington forward James Laithwaite late in the game that saw the Wolves player leave the field on a stretcher.
Wigan took the lead after only six minute with try in the corner by Joe Burgess that Matty Smith couldn’t convert.
But the Wolves dominated the first half scoring after that, scoring their first try after 26 minutes from Joel Monaghan, who touched down in the corner with Stefan Ratchford giving them the lead with a touchline conversion.
And they extended their lead with two tries in the final six minutes, with Richie Myler scoring under the posts, before Myler then kicked to the corner just before the interval for Joel Monaghan to grab his second try when he managed to ground the ball just inside the dead-ball line, with Ratchford converting both tries.
Wigan came roaring back in the second half, however, with Burgess scoring his second before Josh Charnley hacked on Anthony Gelling’s grubber and won the race to touch down. But Smith missed both conversions.
Paul Wood and Eddy Pettybourne were then both sinbinned for fighting, and with tension still high Warrington received a penalty for a shoulder charge on Chris Bridge, and Ratchford extended the lead to 12-20 with 20 minutes remaining.
But the game turned when Charnley intercepted a pass to race 80 metres to touch down, and this time Smith added the conversion to close the gap to two points.
And when Smith’s kick forced a goal-line drop-out it enabled Wigan to establish the position for Blake Green to score from close to the line, and Smith’s conversion completed the scoring, although Gelling was disallowed what would have been a thrilling try by the video referee for obstruction. And although Warrington forced several GLDOs, they couldn’t crack the Wigan defence again, and the hosts held on in front of 15,565 spectators, although they will wait anxiously to see whether McIlorom is cited by the RFL Match Review Panel.
A full report and photos will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.