Warrington Wolves were looking to bounce back from defeat in their first game in three weeks against Wigan Warriors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
Warrington Wolves returned to action in Super League with a 21-8 victory over Wigan Warriors in a fiery derby encounter at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Converted tries from Blake Austin and Josh Thewlis cancelled out Liam Marshall’s unconverted double and saw Warrington, who had seen recent matches postponed due to Covid-19 issues, lead 12-8 at the break despite not being at the best for parts of the first 40 minutes.
Stefan Ratchford slotted over a penalty to extend their lead early in the second half and the win was assured, albeit in slightly controversial manner, as Jake Mamo raced from deep in his own half to finish for the Wolves’ third try while Marshall was down with a head injury.
Mamo was later sent to the sin-bin along with Wigan’s Oliver Partington for their part in a brawl as temperatures threatened to boil over, while Blake Austin slotted a late drop goal to put the seal on the game for the hosts.
The match came too early for former Wigan stand-off George Williams to make his debut for Warrington and they were still without half-back Gareth Widdop but they still had enough in their armoury to halt their neighbours’ revival.
Wigan, who were still without England second rower John Bateman, made all the early running, setting off at a fast pace in a bid to take advantage of their opponents’ recent inactivity, with Jackson Hastings once more revelling in the full-back role.
Right winger Jake Bibby was denied by a last-ditch tackle from stand-off Austin but there was no stopping winger Marshall as the Warriors moved the ball smartly to the left flank for him to dive over for the opening try in the 14th minute.
Warrington responded three minutes later through Austin, who finished off a lightning break from dummy-half by the player of the match Daryl Clark, and Ratchford’s goal put the home side in front.
They almost increased the lead when prop Mike Cooper, on his 250th appearance for his hometown club, was the first to reach Clark’s grubber kick to the line only to fail to control the touchdown.
Wigan made the most of the let-off as Marshall swooped on scrum-half Harry Smith’s pinpoint kick to score his second try but Smith was again unable to add the conversion.
As play swung from end to end, the Wolves regained the lead just before the break through full-back Thewlis, who pounced for a try after centre Oliver Gildart failed to clear the danger caused by Austin’s high kick.
Ratchford’s second conversion made it 12-8 and he increased the lead with a penalty two minutes into the second half after Austin had been the victim of a late tackle.
The game was still in the balance 20 minutes later when Marshall failed to collect a stray pass while attacking the Warrington line and Mamo swooped on the loose ball after Marshall had been caught on the head on the ground by Josh Charnley’s boot to sprint 80 metres for his opportunist try.
Ratchford’s touchline goal meant the visitors had to score three times and it always looked beyond them, although Bibby managed to cross the line for a disallowed try, and Austin wrapped up the scoring with a drop goal.
Tempers began to spill over in the final quarter and Mamo and Wigan forward Partington were both sin-binned for fighting after the former had conceded a penalty.
Warrington hooker Daryl Clark was named player of the match after leading his team to the win over Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam believed that his team were the better side despite losing and bemoaned some of the decisions that went against his team
Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price told Jenna Brooks that he was proud of his team’s defensive effort in their 21-8 won over the Wigan Warriors
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