Wigan Warriors held off a determined challenge from Wakefield Trinity to gain a hard-earned 10-16 victory at the Beaumont Legal Stadium today.
Wakefield were without concussion victim Joe Arundel and fellow injury victim Bill Tupou from the side that lost at Castleford on Good Friday, with Mason Caton-Brown and Ashley Gibson stepping up to fill the breach in the centres, while Keegan Hirst also came onto the bench.
Wigan were lacking Joe Burgess, Michael McIlorum and Willie Isa from the 17 who defeated St Helens, with Liam Forsyth, Romain Navarrete and Nick Gregson replacing them.
Wigan took an early lead with a try from skipper Sean O’Loughlin that took advantate of some poor line defence from Wakefield. Morgan Escaré converted and Wakefield quickly replied, when Scott Grix touched down an Ashley Gibson grubber into Wigan’s in-goal. Liam Finn couldn’t convert, but he did add a penalty to level the scores on 24 minutes.
Escaré then produced the highlight of the first half with a brilliant try created by a George Williams pass and great footwork from the French star, who converted his own try.
But Wakefield replied again when Ben Jones-Bishop went over in the corner after great passing by Wakefield, although Finn couldn’t add the goal and the half-time score was 10-12 with Wigan ahead.
The second half was a tightly contested affair, with Sam Powell held up over the line, Kyle Wood held up just short at the other end and Romain Navarrete unable to ground the ball under the Wakefield posts.
But the stalemate was finally broken when George Williams gave an overhead pass to Liam Marshall in the 78th minute for the young winger to score in the corner and clinch the points for Wigan.
Wakefield: 1 Scott Grix, 5 Ben Jones-Bishop, 24 Mason Caton-Brown, 15 Ashley Gibson, 2 Tom Johnstone, 6 Jacob Miller, 7 Liam Finn, 17 Craig Huby, 9 Kyle Wood, 8 Anthony England, 11 Matty Ashurst, 32 Dean Hadley,, 16 Tinirau Arona; Subs: 12 Danny Kirmond (C), 10 Mitch Allgood, 20 David Fifita, 23 Keegan Hirst
Tries: Grix, Jones-Bishop; Goals: Finn
Wigan: 22 Morgan Escaré, 36 Tom Davies, 3 Anthony Gelling, 32 Liam Forsyth, 35 Liam Marshall, 6 George Williams, 7 Thomas Leuluai, 17 Taulima Tautai, 16 Sam Powell, 10 Ben Flower, 11 Joel Tomkins, 12 Liam Farrell, 13 Sean O’Loughlin (C); Subs: 19 Ryan Sutton, 8 Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 26 Romain Navarrete, 23 Nick Gregson.
Tries: O’Loughlin, Escaré, Marshall; Goals: Escaré
More details from this game will feature in next Monday’s League Express