Match report as Wigan Warriors beat Warrington Wolves 27-26 in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
Sam Tomkins, Anthony Gelling, John Bateman, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin and Sam Powell return for Shaun Wane’s side
- Joe Burgess (2), Liam Marshall and John Bateman with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Warriors beat Warrington Wolves 27-26 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon to progress to the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Two tries from Joe Burgess put Wigan 12-0 up before Ryan Atkins scored twice for the Wolves, bringing the score level. An effort from Liam Marshall saw Warriors lead 18-12 at half-time though.
George Williams added a penalty goal for Wigan before Andre Savelio and a penalty goal from Patton brought the score to 20-all. A try from John Bateman as well as a drop-goal from Sam Tomkins put Wigan back in front while Kurt Gidley pulled one back for Warrington late on but it wasn’t enough as Wigan grinded out a 27-26 victory.
Shaun Wane made six changes to his Wigan side that lost at Leigh Centurions last week. Sam Tomkins, Anthony Gelling, John Bateman, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin and Sam Powell replaced Lewis Tierney, Tom Davies, Jack Wells, Liam Forsyth, Josh Ganson and Romain Navarrete.
Tony Smith made three changes to his Warrington side that lost at Castleford Tigers last time out. Ryan Atkins, Sam Wilde and Kurt Gidley came in for Kevin Penny, Chris Hill and Matty Blythe.
Sam Tomkins made an impact as soon as the game started as the full-back won a penalty following a trip from Stefan Ratchford in the opening minute.
Wigan started strong and quickly got their teeth into the game. A fine pass from Sean O’Loughlin to Sam Tomkins saw the England international slip Oliver Gildart through a gap who raced 50 metres to assist the supporting Joe Burgess out wide. George Williams added the conversion from the touchline to put his side 6-0 up after 12 minutes.
Burgess got his second and Wigan’s second 10 minutes later. Ryan Sutton got a sublime offload away to Joel Tomkins who passed it down the line to the winger who finished acrobatically in the corner. Williams converted to put Wigan in a 12-0 lead.
Wigan were a joy to watch in the first-half due to a number of exciting attacking sets. They came close to getting another when Tommy Leuluai’s grubber found Liam Marshall in the corner but the youngster knocked-on close to the line.
The Wolves managed to pull one back though. Ryan Atkins leaped high to collect Kurt Gidley’s punt to touch down. Declan Patton added the extras but Wigan were still 12-6 ahead.
Atkins drew Warrington level on the half hour mark. The centre latched on to Patton’s grubber to dive over. Patton’s conversion was good and the score was tied at 12-12.
It didn’t take long for the Cherry and Whites to go back in front. A fine passing move saw Gelling use Marshall who raced down the right channel to wrong foot Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins to score. England international Williams was successful with his conversion attempt and Wigan were 18-12 to the good.
Marshall produced a try-saving tackle on Lineham just before half-time, meaning Wigan led 18-12 at the break.
HALF TIME: Warrington Wolves 12–18 Wigan Warriors
Wigan crossed the whitewash early on in the second-half through Burgess but the referee chalked it off owing to a forward pass earlier in the move.
Shaun Wane’s Warriors won a penalty near the Warrington sticks due to the hosts interfering at the play-the-ball. Williams added the penalty goal as a result which put Wigan 20-12 up.
A knock-on from the Cherry and Whites meant that Warrington had another set of six attacking the Wigan line. The pressure eventually took it’s toll as Andre Savelio crashed over from close. The conversion was on target and Wigan were narrowly 20-18 ahead.
The Wolves clawed their way back to make the score level again. Wigan were offside so Warrington opted to take the two and Patton added the penalty goal to make the score 20-all after an hour.
Wigan quickly replied though thanks to a try from John Bateman on his return. Sam Tomkins made a fine pass to the England back-rower who burst through the Warrington defence to score from 20 metres out. Williams again added the two points from the conversion to make the score 26-20 in favour of Wigan.
Playing his first game of 2017, Sam Tomkins added a drop-goal for Wigan in the 73rd minute to put his side 27-20 in front.
Kurt Gidley pulled one back for Wire after having repeat sets on the Warriors line. The half-back stepped through a gap to score from close range. Patton converted and Wigan led just 27-26 with three minutes left to play.
Wigan’s kick restart went out on the full so Ratchford went for the penalty goal from the halfway line and missed which created a nervy finish.
On the verge of the full-time hooter Patton attempted a one-pointer from in front of the sticks but it was blocked and went wide, meaning Wigan progressed through to the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a pulsating 27-26 victory.
FULL TIME: Warrington Wolves 26–27 Wigan Warriors
Warrington Wolves – 26
Tries: Atkins 2, Savelio, Gidley
Goals: Patton 5/5, Ratchford 0/1
Wigan Warriors - 27
Tries: Burgess 2, Marshall, Bateman
Goals: Williams 5/5
*Drop Goals:** S Tomkins 1
Warrington Wolves: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 32. Will Dagger, 12. Jack Hughes, 4. Ryan Atkins, 2. Tom Lineham, 22. Declan Patton, 7. Kurt Gidley, 14. Mike Cooper, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Ashton Sims, 24. Benjamin Jullien, 23. Joe Philbin, 13. Joe Westerman.
Interchange: 15. Brad Dwyer, 16. George King, 18. Andre Savelio, 25. Sam Wilde.
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 35. Liam Marshall, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Micky McIlorum, 11. Joel Tomkins, 14. John Bateman, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Interchange: 20. Willie Isa, 19. Ryan Sutton, 16. Sam Powell, 17. Taulima Tautai.
Referee – Ben Thaler